The first of the films of Boetticher to win real praise, Bronco Buster has an ease about it that prefigures the majestic Westerns he was to make with Randolph Scott later in the decade. Even the rivalry between the Lund and Brady characters, as they compete in the ring and out of it for the Hand of Holden, prefigures that between Scott and the series of amiable villains Boetticher confronts him with in classic films like 'Ride lonesome'(1959) and Comanche Station (1960). Lund is quietly effective in the Scott role while Brady is more hammy as the 'villain'. Real-life rodeo stars Casey Tibbs, Pete Crump, Bill Williams and Jerry Ambler supply strong support. But in Boetticher's hands it is less the actuality of the rodeo that matters than its closeness to the bullring and the metaphor of the closed circle that is so powerfully present in Boetticher's movies. The result is an assured film.
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