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Edward Beale is in charge of finding a shorter trail across the American desert and to also test the practicality of using camels in the west in this 3-D western. (An actual test once conducted in the Big Bend area of Texas.) Clint MacDoanld, a bank robber one jump ahead of a posse, joins the caravan by posing as a doctor. His sweetheart, Lilly, also comes along and signs on. There is a whole lot of footage of the grueling trek across the desert, but it begins to move when mule-skinner Matt Carroll becomes aware of MacDonald's true profession and he wants the gold from the bank robbery. The Apaches have shied away from attacking the train, because of their fear of the camels, but a camel dies and the jig is up as they lose their fear and here they come. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Good outdoor western with an unusual plot and a generally unpredictable storyline. Surveyor Beale (Cameron) is leading a mapping caravan through an Apache-ridden desert. Along the way he picks up two fugitive bank robbers (Ireland & Dru), one of whom poses as a doctor. Meanwhile finding water is a real problem, even for the camel pack-animals and their Arab drivers. So how will all this sort out, especially since both guys are stuck on the same girl.
I'm thirsty just looking at the barren Kanab, Utah locations. They sure look like a long way from nowhere. It's a good strong cast, particularly Ireland as a good-bad guy and Dru who really looks like she can ride and shoot. Okay, maybe budget-minded Edward Small Co. couldn't get the Duke for the big guy role, but Cameron still manages to persuade.
Some good touches add color. It's really strange seeing the Moslem Arabs doing their bowing to Mecca in the middle of a western. But there they are. The camels too, are a good imaginative addition. But note the brief scene with the wrecked wagon that Beale orders chopped up for firewood. I wouldn't be surprised it was wrecked during filming and was cleverly inserted into the narrative. Whatever, it adds a realistic touch.
My only complaint is an ending that appears pretty contrived, unlike what went before. Oh well, it's Hollywood, after all, a place where no one really dies. Still, it's a pretty darn good little western.
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