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A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he falls in love with a visiting woman some of the prisoners seize the advantage and try to escape while he is in a more "mellow" mood. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
Surprisingly original and therefor also likable movie.
It's an interesting western/prison movie cross-over, although above all the movie remains a western of course with some of its formulaic ingredients, in this movie it's mostly the use of Indians. The story makes the movie more original than most of the other western's from the '50's. It's originality also help to make this movie a better than average one.
Of course the story still feels the need to put in a love-story into the movie but that's basically the curse of every movie that's over 50 years old. Nevertheless the love-story itself is also quite different and original, so it isn't as distracting as in most other genre movies from the same period often was the case.
Director John Sturges has made many entertaining and adventurous movies in his career and I consider this as one of them, though it obviously is not his best work. It's just a good and enjoyable movie, with some real great moments, for in between.
At times its painfully obvious that the movie was for some part shot in studios with fake looking backgrounds in it. It makes the movie look outdated but that also by now has become part of the charm of these sort of movies. The cinematography is from Robert Surtees, who perhaps was the greatest cinematographer of his time. This movie isn't his best done however but it's a worthy one.
William Holden is good in his role, though it's hard to always like him because of the stubbornness and seemingly lack of emotion of the character. The supporting cast also pull of well, especially John Forsythe.
The musical score by Jeff Alexander is surprisingly great and I mean really great. It's not the usual some old, same old '50's western drivel. It's a score worth searching out, though I don't think it's available anywhere.
An enjoyable movie to watch, that's worth watching if you get the chance.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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