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Cattle baron Matt Devereaux raids a copper smelter that is polluting his water, then divides his property among his sons. Son Joe takes responsibility for the raid and gets three years in prison. Matt dies from a stroke partly caused by his rebellious sons and when Joe gets out he plans revenge. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Ben pulls the "dead" Matt from his horse, Matt bends his right knee and swings his right foot to clear the cantle. See more »
I now ask you, sir, do you remember the names Charlie Monger, Red Dog Johnson or Carlos Rameriez?
The incident may be too trivial to recall. But isn't it true that you summarily hanged three of these men on the afternoon of June 4th?
They were stealing my cattle!
I thought you didn't remember them.
I didn't ask their names!
You just hanged 'em?
By the neck until they were dead. They were thieves!
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Spencer Tracy shines in this tale of a cattle baron and his sons.
Starting with nothing, and becoming wealthy, Tracy's wife dies and he remarries an Indian woman, well played by Katie Jurado in an Oscar nominated performance as best supporting actress. She is devoted to her husband. Count the number of times she says my husband in this film. At times, it became somewhat annoying, added to the fact that she had a lisp. Therefore, it became "my huthband." Surprised, the directors didn't point this out unless they thought she could get away with it due to her accent.
Anyway, 2 of the sons are well played by Richard Widmark and Robert Wagner. Widmark is insanely jealous of Joe (Wagner.) He claims how hard he worked, and that Joe, Tracy's son by Jurado, had little to do because by the time he came, they were wealthy.
Financial difficulties lead to a court trial and jailing of Joe who takes the entire rap. A fatal heart attack soon befalls Tracy, who loved Joe deeply, and could not see him taking the blame for all.
Years pass and Joe is released from prison. Widmark, despising him out of jealousy, plans to kill him but is instead killed himself by another Indian.
A better than average western showing complicated and conflicted family values. This is not your run-in-the mill-western. It succeeds because it deals with so many complex issues so well-racism, a changing west, greed, heavy-handed patriarchy, and lost sons. Spencer Tracy was dominant as the difficult father. Both he as best actor and Richard Widmark, in a supporting role, deserved Oscar nominations as well. Earl Holliman shines as a dim-witted brother. Hugh O'Brien is given little to do here.
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