|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||11 reviews in total|
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
No great classic, but unpretentious and enjoyable, 11 December 2005
Author: Robin Moss from London, United Kingdom
"Horizons West" is the kind of unpretentious, fast-paced Technicolor
western that Universal-International churned out in the 1950s. The
pared-down narrative combined with tight cutting ensures that the movie
proceeds briskly even though "Horizons West" was directed without any
dramatic intensity. The basic narrative material could have been
stretched out to 120 minutes or more, but director Budd Boetticher and
editor Ted Kent brought the film in at less than 85 minutes.
Dan Hammond (Robert Ryan), his brother Neil (Rock Hudson) and their ranch colleague Tiny (James Arness) return to Texas from the Civil War. Neil and Tiny are content to return to their previous way of life, but Dan has much bigger ideas. He recruits a gang of army deserters and rustles cattle in a big way. He is very successful and expands into land grabbing and claim jumping. Soon money and success go to his head, and hubris clouds his judgement. Eventually his loyal and loving family turn against him and take it upon themselves to bring him down.
Robert Ryan was always a good, unshowy actor, and he brings out the many sides of Dan Hammond very well. John McIntire, another reliable actor, is also very good as the simple, unambitious father. Julia Adams for once is not given a peaches and cream part, and she too is successful at showing the different aspects of her character. Rock Hudson and Dennis Weaver are still at the beginnings of their careers, and their inexperience and lack of screen presence shows. As was so often the case in those days, Raymond Burr plays an unpleasant character and really makes the audience dislike him.
"Horizons West" is a very minor film and is unlikely to make it onto DVD, but if it appears on television, it is well worth watching.
UPDATE: A Region 2 DVD of this movie will be issued in France in November, 2008. It will have the original English language soundtrack with French subtitles.
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
At least it's not cut-and-dried, 14 December 2006
Author: Martin Bradley (MOscarbradley@aol.com) from Derry, Ireland
One of a number of interesting psychological westerns from the fifties though this isn't in the same class as the later Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott westerns, (it's let down by a poor script and poor acting). Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson play brothers returning from the Civil War to the vanquished Confederate side. Ryan goes to the bad while the mealy-mouthed Hudson stays on the side of law and order and that's basically it. But Boetticher sets up a number of interesting scenarios that make the Ryan character far from a cut-and-dried villain, (late in the film there is even a little speech as to what turned him the way he is), and the familial relationships are nicely drawn.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Greedy in the Post-Civil War, 26 December 2010
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After the American Civil War, the brothers Dan (Robert Ryan) and Neil
Hammond (Rock Hudson) returns to their father's ranch H Circle in
Austin, Texas with their friend Tiny (James Arness). The greedy Dan
does not adapt to ranching again and has the intention of raising a
fortune of his own. He borrows one thousand dollars from a friend and
play cards with the wealthy Cord Hardin (Raymond Bur). However he loses
five thousand dollars and Hardin humiliates Dan. He recruits dangerous
deserters and other scum to form a gang, and together they steal the
cattle of Cord and other ranchers. Dan raises a large amount and
returns to Austin, telling that he made a fortune in New Orleans. When
Cord kidnaps Neil to interrogate about the business of his brother,
Cord's wife Lorna (Julia Adams) goes to the hotel and tells to Dan what
is happening in the ranch. Dan goes to Cord's ranch and kills him in
self- defense. He is judged innocent and sooner he marries Lorna. But
his ambition is not satisfied and Dan uses the force to raise an
empire. However, his father and Neil decide to bring Dan to the court
with tragic consequences.
"Horizons West" is a western about greedy in the Post-Civil War dividing a family of ranchers. Robert Ryan is excellent, as usual, in the role of a man that loses his values in the war and returns cruel and ambitious. Julia Adams is very beautiful, wearing wonderful costumes. There are excellent lines in the dialogs and in the end this is an entertaining film. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Império do Pavor" ("Empire of Fear")
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
very good early Boetticher with Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson, 10 September 2008
Author: tmwest from S. Paulo, Brazil
When color was not taken for granted, Universal would come out in the fifties with those brightly, intensely colored westerns which were a pleasure to see, even if they would not be so good. But Horizons West is a very good film, where the always excellent Robert Ryan is Dan Hammond, a frustrated southern Major who envies those who became rich with the war and will stop at nothing to become rich and powerful. Rock Hudson is the good guy Neil, his adopted brother. Julia Adams(Lorna) is the wife of the disgusting Hardin(Raymond Burr) a bad, rich man. Lorna falls madly in love with Dan. Meanwhile the ranchers became increasingly revolted with Dan's tactics to get all the land he can. There is a father-son conflict between Dan and Ira (John McIntire) which brought to mind Winchester 73. Budd Boetticher is known for his Ranown westerns, but his earlier westerns like this one, Seminole, Wings of The Hawk, The Man from the Alamo and The Cimarron Kid are all much above average.
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
You are leaving Texas at your own peril. You are about to enter Zona Libre., 12 January 2011
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
Horizons West is directed by Budd Boetticher with a story written by
Louis Stevens. It stars Robert Ryan, Rock Hudson, Julia Adams, John
McIntire, Raymond Burr & Dennis Weaver. It's a Technicolor production
with Charles P. Boyle on photography.
It's the end of the Civil War and the Hammond brothers Neal (Hudson) and Dan (Ryan) return to the family ranch in Texas. Neal is happy to graft away on the ranch but Dan wants considerably more. But Dan's plans are altered after an encounter with Cord Hardin (Burr), an encounter that sees Dan switch to the wrong side of the law. A switch that drives a wedge thru the Hammond family, particularly since Neal has decided to don a badge and become a Marshal of Austin.
Interesting and watchable early Western effort from Budd Boetticher. It has some psychological aspects that mark it out as being above average. Themes of greed and family strife are of course nothing new in the grand scheme of the Western movie, but Boetticher and his cast knit them together here with some conviction, notably Ryan who was in the middle of a great run of movies that included On Dangerous Ground, Beware, My Lovely and The Naked Spur. There's no real complexities to the characters, but they are well formed, and the finale has the courage of its convictions. There's also some very neat period costuming from Rosemary Odell, with the quite ravishing Adams benefiting greatly there. The main problematic issues outside of some narrative familiarity come with being asked to believe that Ryan and Hudson (whose limp) are brothers, and that McIntire is Ryan's father (there's only two years between them in reality). Whilst there's sadly a lack of impacting outdoor photography; even if that's off set a touch by the easy on the eye set designs for the town by Russell A. Gausman & Joseph Kish.
A more than adequate time filler for the discerning Western fan. 6/10
8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
technicolor iconographic western, 8 April 2004
Author: desmac66 (email@example.com) from newport, wales
the best thing about this western is its title. the next best thing is its glorious technicolor imagery. the 'look' of this film makes it a classic western - fully lit western skies, iconographic star close ups of confederate soldiers and texas belles - richly textured in luscious technicolor. the title - horizons west - and the beauty of the images sum up the idea of manifold destiny and western expansion. curiously the narrative itself contradicts the look as elder brother robert ryan abandons the simple homestead lifestyle for the corruptly sophisticated attractions of town life. as younger brother (rock hudson)is pitted against older brother (ryan), there are suggestions of biblical undertones. hudson, now a deputy marshal, eventually hunts down ryan for murder thereby restoring the idea of honesty and integrity as part of western expansion.
Ex-confederate major (Robert Ryan) expands his horizons to a Texas empire, 19 July 2012
Author: msroz from United States
Older brothers Robert Ryan returns to Texas with younger brother Rock
Hudson and their dad's (John McIntire) ranch foreman (James Arness).
Rock settles right in to their former ranch life but Ryan is restless
and ambitious. He's running against time and constraint and paying off
mortgages like his dad, and he's running for money. Before long, in his
quest for money, he runs up against the local land baron, Raymond Burr,
and he runs toward Burr's wife, Julie Adams, who also once ran for
money but now hates her cruel husband.
Ryan organizes the local tent city of assorted ex-veterans and ruffians into a rustling gang. His horizons expand. He now wants empire, and he finds plenty of local respectable people who support his efforts. Veteran character actor Tom Powers (Stanwyck's hapless husband in Double Indemnity) stands against him as does Rock Hudson and his dad. So does Burr. Dennis Weaver appears as Ryan's loyal right hand man who looks up to a powerful man but who himself is too ready to use his gun and lacking in smarts.
Plenty of conflict and action result in this taut tale in which not a word, not a scene, and not a second is wasted effort. From start to finish, the focus is on the character and motivation of Ryan. Why does a man from a respectable family and background turn against law and good people, not just Burr? Ryan is perfect in the part. There may not have been at the time any actor who could better have handled this kind of character. Ryan played many such roles, on both sides of the law, in which there is a disturbing uncertainty, restlessness and dissatisfaction at a man's center. In this movie, he admits of cruelty too and of not knowing what drives him. The war experiences affected him in a different way than younger brother Rock, who came out of it retaining his youthful optimism.
Getting back to Ryan's performance, what gets me about it is the voice and intonation of his lines. The words come out in a kind of pained gruffness as if there were a basic antagonism or questioning flowing forth from a tortured soul who cannot understand and accept this life, his life, the events in his life, or what God has wrought. It is a kind of rebellion, a kind of alienation. Ryan's characters are often men who are not at peace with themselves and not at peace with the people or world around them. They are searching for something that brings them peace. They are doing what they feel they must do or driven to do, not always knowing why, and not always conforming to society's laws and rules.
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Good Early Budd Boetticher Western, 31 May 2010
Author: doug-balch from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Review of 'Horizon's West'
by you Review of Horizon's West 1952 Directed by Budd Boetticher
This is an entertaining movie, with a good cast. I gave it six stars out of 10 in the IMDb ranking. It scored 13 points in my ranking system, which is slightly above average.
Here's what worked:
- Strong lead performance by Robert Ryan. He proves he can carry a film. Also, his character is both the protagonist and the heavy, which is always complex and interesting.
- A very alluring performance by Julie Adams.
- Another solid effort by John McIntire, who once again convincingly portrays a character 20 years older than himself. He plays Ryan's father in the film and I'm sure few suspect that in reality he was only two years older than Robert Ryan.
- Ryan's character lives in Austin and becomes a cattle rustler. He sells his cattle in Mexico to a corrupt Mexican general who rules over an area of Mexico called the Zona Libre. He also recruits a community of criminals and army deserters to assist him. These are two really hip themes, one of which was also used effectively in Fritz Lang's "Rancho Notorious". Unfortunately, both of these movies didn't capitalize fully on these ideas. There's a really good movie still waiting to be made using the "Zona Libre" and community of outlaw themes.
- Excellent Civil War theme. Robert Ryan plays a character who returns to Texas from the Civil War. His humiliation at the South's defeat ignites his destructive ambition to succeed financially after the war.
- Interesting early appearance by several actors who would go on to TV fame and fortune, including Raymond Burr and "Gunsmoke" stalwarts Dennis Weaver and James Arness.
- There are no plot holes. Most of the character's motivations make sense and are consistent.
Now here's what kept the movie from being better:
- It's just too stiff and melodramatic. At times it teeters on the edge of "Duel in the Sun"-esquire steamy romance.
- It's kind of low budget. Some of the interior sets are OK, but it doesn't get outdoors enough. And when they do, they film just north of L.A.
- No comic relief
- Rock Hudson
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Horizons East (of Eden), 7 March 2009
How many westerns (and others) feature two brothers ,the good and the
bad,Abel and Cain?It was already in Genesis after all.It's more Ryan
too old to be Hudson's brother than the other way about;sixteen years
between the two leads is much and it shows.But Robert Ryan was as
excellent as ever in his part of an ex-confederate soldier who does not
want to work on a ranch and dreams of building an empire ,abetted by a
femme fatale -a rare character in westerns.But as Springsteen sings,a
king ain't satisfied till he owns everything and as Shakespeare
wrote,(man)gains the world and loses his soul.On the contrary ,brother
Hudson is a loyal good son,probably remembering the prodigal son
parable ;Hudson would play a similar part in Sirk's modern western (the
sport car replacing the horse)"written on the wind" (1956):some kind of
adoptive child opposite a wealthy bad son (Robert Stack);he was also
the good guy in "Giant" in which Dean became a racist tycoon.
"Horizons west" is an entertaining western,its last pictures summing up its moral in admirably succinct style.
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Lost Wars, 1 February 2010
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recently, I've been watching old movies with greater weight on the
modern context. In other words, I almost completely discount the
situation in which it was made, and how it was intended to be viewed.
You really have to do that in defense, if you study very many of these
This is ghastly bad: good brother, bad brother, judicial father and girls, one bad and one good. Mix in a bit of cattle rustling and Technicolor.
But as an episode in history that is fascinating, it works. This is when the western was still reverberating from the John Ford model, and these sorts of things could take themselves seriously. It was before TeeVee destroyed the western in the 50s by overexposure.
Here you have two of the main offenders, the two guys that would go on to anchor "Gunsmoke." Seeing them before their culpability even before they became competent is pretty enjoyable.
But you have tow other icons as well. Rock Hudson, when he was marketed and consumed as a sex star. This was before it became known he was gay, bravely announcing his fight with AIDS. That drama created a two-brother conflict in fundamentalist America we still see. Watch him here as the good brother who fights for and stays with the family.
And the other, special to me. Raymond Burr also went into TeeVee a few years later as Perry Mason. This was an important show, because it was a vast ten year experiment in conveying the mystery to screen without compromise. One can literally see the evolution where the compromise won, when the public signaled that it did not want to guess, but merely be told the answer to the riddle at the end. Here, in a shock to anyone looking backwards, he is the evil guy who is replaced by the evil brother.
The sets are more hokey than usual for Universal.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|