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Rancho Notorious (1952)

 -  Drama | Western  -  1 March 1952 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,485 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 26 critic

A western based on the story "Gunsight Whitman" by Silvia Richards. Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé's death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Vern Haskell
...
...
Beth Forbes
...
Baldy Gunder
Lisa Ferraday ...
Maxine
John Raven ...
Chuck-a-Luck Dealer
...
Mort Geary
...
Frank Ferguson ...
Preacher
Francis McDonald ...
Harbin
Dan Seymour ...
Comanche Paul
John Kellogg ...
Jeff Factor
Rodd Redwing ...
Rio (as Rodric Redwing)
Edit

Storyline

A western based on the story "Gunsight Whitman" by Silvia Richards. Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé's death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge leads him to Chuck-a-luck, Altar Keane's ranch set up to hide criminals, and he finds more than he bargains for. Written by Andre'a M. Thompson <athompso@ziggy.st.hmc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where anything goes...for a price!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chuck-a-Luck  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Fritz Lang had originally planned to call this film "Chuck-a-Luck". However, the studio insisted that its name be changed to "Rancho Notorious" and when Lang asked why, he was told that it was because Americans wouldn't understand what "Chuck-a-Luck" (a gambling game commonly played in saloons in the Southwest) meant. Lang replied, "Well, it's a good thing that they all know what 'Rancho Notorious'[which has nothing to do with anything in the film] means!" See more »

Quotes

Altar Keane: Go away and come back ten years ago.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les cinéphiles - Le retour de Jean (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Gypsy Davey
Music and Lyrics by Ken Darby
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User Reviews

 
Our Little Outlaw Hideaway
5 December 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Thirteen years after Marlene Dietrich lit up the old west and the town of Bottleneck in particular in Destry Rides Again, she got another chance to play an older, but maybe not so much wiser version of Frenchie as Altar Keane in Rancho Notorious.

Apparently at one time Marlene was as notorious a saloon entertainer as Frenchie back in the day. But she's got a new line of work. She's taken her money and got a ranch now that doubles as an outlaw hideout. For a cut in their loot she gives them asylum. The place is called Chuck-a-Luck and its known in the western criminal community.

Enter Arthur Kennedy who is after the man who raped, robbed, and murdered his fiancé, Gloria Henry. He's got a line on the guy who did the deed that he's headed for this mysterious place called Chuck-a-Luck.

Kennedy joins a pantheon of male Fritz Lang protagonists who get terribly wronged and are seeking vengeance. It's a good group, Spencer Tracy in Fury, Glenn Ford in The Big Heat, Henry Fonda in The Return of Frank James. Lang's heroes are looking for vengeance and there's not too much they won't do to get it.

Before Hitler came to power, Fritz Lang was the top German director and Marlene Dietrich their brightest female star. They had not worked together while in Germany, over here they got involved romantically for a bit, but never professionally.

They were friends, but that ended with Rancho Notorious. Lang may have been anti-Nazi, but on the soundstage he was a regular Prussian martinet. Henry Fonda hated working with him on the two films he did and so did Dietrich.

One of the sheltered outlaws is George Reeves, taking a hiatus from Superman. Reeves is a love and leave them type and for a while Kennedy thinks he's the one that killed Henry. He does a very good job in the part and it's tragic to think he was capable of so much more than a kid's television superhero.

Mel Ferrer plays Marlene's boyfriend, a flashy gunman who curiously enough is named Frenchy. He's not a western type by any stretch, but the point is that he is a cut above the usual outlaw bunch at the Marlene hideaway.

Rancho Notorious is not a great western, a great Fritz Lang film, and definitely not one of Marlene's better films. But it's entertaining enough and there ain't no one like Ms. Dietrich as a saloon entertainer.


11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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