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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>
Richard Widmark and Earl Holliman play brothers here. They would again appear as siblings 5 years later in "The Trap" (1959). See more »
When Matt is seen riding toward his sons off the side of the hill, he is sitting astride his horse, and his right hand is held up holding the reins, but when his son Ben takes him off his horse, he is already dead. See more »
He'll cool down... and when he does he'll make the deal. He's too smart not to. Ain't that right, Ben?
I don't know. But anybody that throws $10,000 in a spittoon makes me nervous.
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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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