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Rancho Notorious (1952)

Approved | | Western | March 1952 (USA)
After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Vern Haskell
...
...
Beth Forbes
...
Baldy Gunder
...
Maxine
John Raven ...
Chuck-a-Luck Dealer
...
Mort Geary
...
...
Preacher
...
Harbin
...
Comanche Paul
...
Jeff Factor
...
Rio (as Rodric Redwing)
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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! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chuck-a-Luck  »

Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

When Altar and Frenchy argue about her going away, the close up shows them with shoulders in parallel. After the cut to medium, her left shoulder is instantly pressed against his chest. See more »

Quotes

Altar Keane: [Her birthday is tomorrow] Don't ask how old I'll be tomorrow, or I'll ask you.
Frenchy Fairmont: Does another year bother you?
Altar Keane: Every year's a threat to a woman.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Contempt (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Gypsy Davey
Music and Lyrics by Ken Darby
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User Reviews

Atmospheric Western Noir
13 December 1998 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

"Rancho Notorious" is a beautifully atmospheric and suspenseful film. Best known for his expressionist black & white suspense thrillers, director Fritz Lang brings the same qualities to this Technicolor western.

Although she must have been in her fifties when the film was made, Dietrich looks absolutely gorgeous. She also seems to be having lots of fun with the part, in a sense reprising her character from "Destry Rides Again." It's never explained how this woman with the strange German accent ended up in the Wild West, and we don't really care. By the way, Dietrich's performance in these two films was the basis for Madeline Kahn's great parody in "Blazing Saddles."

The one thing that really stands out in my mind about this film is how effectively the suspense builds. The tension leading up to Vern's discovery of the killer's identity is almost unbearable, and Lang makes us wait until the film's last five minutes for the inevitable score-settling gunfight.

In a period of film history when westerns were a dime a dozen, this one really stands out as a true classic.


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