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A cattle baron takes in an orphaned boy and raises him, causing his own son to resent the boy. As they get older the resentment festers into hatred, and eventually the real son frames his stepbrother for fathering an illegitimate child that is actually his, seeing it as an opportunity to get his half-brother out of the way so he can have his father's empire all to himself. Written by
This is one of a handful of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions of the 1950-1951 period whose original copyrights were never renewed and are now apparently in Public Domain; for this reason this title is now offered, often in very inferior copies, at bargain prices, by numerous VHS and DVD distributors who do not normally handle copyrighted or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer material. See more »
I got a story to tell - a yarn about cow country, cow punchers and men. I was workin' for the Strobie Ranch, a trade of worn leather and saddle blisters and brandin' irons. A trade with some song, some fun and some luck. It was as good a job as a man could ask for. Lonely sometimes and cold - so much distance you'd have thought you'd never get back - but for me, a young kid, it was a fine time. Memories are mostly good. You're up on top of the world where the air is clean and thin ...
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Robert Walker plays Lee Strobie, a sleazy greedy son gone bad. His adopted brother Owen Daybright (Burt Lancaster) is always covering for him. Strobie gets Lily Faskin (Sally Forrest) pregnant and Lily's brothers (John Ireland & Hugh O'Brien) come gunning for Daybright since they found out he was the one who paid money to Lily for her trouble. They think Owen is the father when in fact it was Lee who got Lily pregnant in the first place. Lee also tries to hide this fact from his wife Jen (Joanne Dru) but she finds out about it, anyway.
Sound convoluted enough? Well it actually it works. This is an 'adult' western, not your average B programmer.
There's little gunplay except at the end when the Faskin brothers try to ambush and kill Owen during a cattle drive. Lee gallops away leaving Owen at the mercy of the Faskins. It's only then that Owen realizes Lee was in on this ambush too because he wants Owen dead so he can have the ranch all to himself.
The other ranch hands come to Owen's rescue and kill the Faskins, leaving Owen free to pursue Lee to the river where the inevitable showdown occurs. If you want to see what happens next, see the movie.
I love the scenery in this one. It's beautiful. Looks like Colorado but I could be mistaken and the IMDb doesn't give the location. I'd love to go out there, though.
It seems this MGM western is in the public domain since there are a lot of bootleg DVDs of it out there of mediocre quality. I saw it on TCM and it looks like it could use a remastering job since the Technicolor is all washed out and the sound fades out at times.
Unlike some of the viewers below, I liked it since it had a slightly sleazy element to the story. May even be worth getting on DVD if Turner ever decides to release an official version.
7 out of 10
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