Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.
The 1950s was the decade of the message western, and this is a low budget version of the genre. But don't let the low budget (or the deterioration of the film negative) scare you away. This story about a bloody confrontation that is the direct result of a barbarous US general's attempt to occupy Indian lands is surprisingly brutal, sympathetic to the native Americans, and much more cynical about the inherent decency of those in power than one would expect from a movie from this era. Yes, if you look, you will find ample and annoying western movie clichés. Rory Calhoun and Rita Moreno are the recognizable stars here -- and they are playing types, rather than roles. (Rory is the scout raised by the native Americans, who is conflicted. Rita Moreno has an obnoxious role as the cute native American who has attached herself to Rory's Mexican sidekick). The reason to watch is plot, pacing, and, yes, the ending that you will not predict.
Note. The film was shot in color, but TCM broadcast it in black and white. This looks like a film in bad need of restoration, particularly as much of it was shot against sagebrush that was actually in bloom.
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