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Brothers Dick and Carey Ross, eluding the law because of Carey's disregard for laws,cross over the Canadian border from Montana, and join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They react in different ways with Dick becoming an honest and standout member of the Mounties while Carey resorts to his old ways. The attempt by Chief Sitting Bull to incite the Canadian Indians to war is also woven into the threadbare version - number-231 good brother vs. bad brother plot. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Fort Vengeance. Western Headquarters of the North West Mounted Police.
Fort Vengeance is directed by Lesley Selander and written by Dan Ullman. It stars James Craig, Rita Moreno, Keith Larsen, Reginald Denny, Charles Irwin and Morris Ankrum. Music is by Paul Dunlap and cinematography by Harry Neumann.
As written there's a whole bunch of interest in this otherwise routinely staged Oater. On the surface it's a good brother versus bad brother theme, as Dick (Craig) and Carey Ross (Larsen) flee problems in the States by crossing the border into Canada and join the famed North West Mounted Police. Carey Ross is the tempestuous young brother, Dick Ross the wise and reasonable one. There's trouble afoot with the Indians, Sitting Bull (Michael Granger) is on the warpath and wants to unite with the Canadian Blackfoots to wipe out ole whitey.
Running at just 75 minutes, Selander crams as much action in as he can, unfortunately this is at a cost to narrative promise. The story is set just after Custer's folly, and thus the Canadian Red Coats are dealing with the aftermath of the Blue Coats' ventures down across the border. On the Native American front, Sitting Bull is using devious tactics to stir up his wrath, but Blackfoot leader Crowfoot (Ankrum) still believes peace is possible. But with Carey Ross now a loose cannon on the Red Coat side of the fence, this part of Canada is turning into a powder-keg.
There's a lot of fascinating historical ideas ticking away here, but the nature of this sort of production means nothing is ever expanded upon. The action scenes are competent, though the fisticuffs choreography is poor, and I'm still not exactly sure what Rita Moreno's character has to do with things? She seems to exist just to tease the men, unflatteringly so! The Cinecolor looks washed out, meaning the potential airy vistas lack vibrancy, while you will search far and wide for an acting performance of note.
The various narrative strands jostling with each other for notice in the picture keeps things watchable, while the finale does pack an emotional punch, but ultimately it winds up as a time filling second string feature that is quickly forgotten once the credits do roll. A shame that. 6/10
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