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Another Fine Fifties Western.
jpdoherty13 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A novel called "Jubal Troop" by Paul Wellman was the basis for a fine screenplay by both Russell S.Hughes and director Delmer Daves for the Columbia Pictures' stylish western JUBAL (1956). Produced for the studio by William Fadiman it had all the skill and talent director Daves had injected into previous and future western assignments such as "Broken Arrow" (1950), "The Last Wagon" (1956) and his masterpiece "3 Ten To Yuma"(1957). Photographed by ace cinematographer Charles Lawton Jr. on beautiful locations in Wyoming the imposing Grand Tetons make for some amazing backdrops in many scenes. Seven years later Daves and Lawton would return to the same stunning locations for the spectacularly photographed Warner picture "Spencer's Mountain".

JUBAL stars Glenn Ford as Jubal Troop a wandering cowhand who is rescued from near freezing on a mountain trail by passing rancher Shep Horgan (Ernest Borgnine). The rancher takes him back to his spread where he is taken care of and revived. The next day Horgan offers him a job to the chagrin of another cowhand Pinky (Rod Steiger) who has taken an instant dislike to the stranger and even suspects that he could be a sheepherder ("he stinks of sheep dip"). Trouble really begins when Shep's new wife - the flirtatious May (Valerie French) makes a play for the new cowboy. Jubal - being too fond of and grateful to Shep - will have none of it ("you're the boss's wife" he tells her as he walks away from her). But Pinky's hatred and jealously of Jubal sees him plant the lie in Shep's head that his wife is having an affair with the stranger. A furious Shep unwittingly confronts Jubal with a gun in the saloon ("get up Jube or I'll give it to you where you sit") but with the help of his friend (Charles Bronson) Jubal manages to out shoot Shep but regretfully kills him. Pinky now has the reason to round up a posse and go after Jubal who has taken refuge in a pilgrim's wagon train. The picture ends with Pinky beating up May but before she dies she informs the attending doctor (Robert Burton) that it was Pinky's lie that caused all the trouble and not Jubal.

Performances are generally good throughout! Ford gives his usual dependable portrait of a likable western hero. Borgnine is good too in a big co-starring role after his Acadamy Award winning performance in "Marty" (1955) and Valeria French is excellent as the alluring and flirty wife. Wasted though is Felicia Farr making her debut in a syrupy and poorly written role as a pilgrim girl who takes a shine to Jubal. (She made up for it the following year when she and Ford were the brief bar-room lovers in Daves' brilliant "3 Ten To Yuma"). But the acting honours in JUBAL has to go to Rod Steiger as the mean-spirited and contemptible Pinky despite the actor's ill-advised use of a dubious southern accent. Others in the cast are likable bit players such as John Dierkes, Noah Beery Jr. and Basil Ruysdael. And holding the whole thing together nicely is the splendid music score by David Raksin. There is an infectious and jaunty main theme heard first over the titles and carried through for the early scenes. Then there is some exciting cues for the chase sequences and tender music plays under the picture's softer moments. The music from JUBAL is one of the composer's better scores.

JUBAL is a fine memorable western and a splendid addition to the great classics of the fifties.
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I can't help but think of other films..
schappe124 March 2007
I love discovering old films that I'd never seen before. It's as if the stars became young again or alive again and made another film just for me. Glenn Ford, Rod Steiger, Charles Bronson, Jack Elam and others are gone now, (and I haven't seen Ernie Borgnine in anything in years-although he's still working per the IMDb), but there they are in a very fine wide-screen western from 1956.

The Western hit a peak in the 1950's. In the pre-war period, it was a specialty genre that was mostly for juvenile audiences with singing cowboys and such. Occasionally there was an historical epic. What was missing were A-level pictures with top stars, strong stories and good production values. When John Ford, after several years doing other types of films, returned to the Western with "Stagecoach" in 1939 that began to change. He and Howard Hawks and others proved the Western could be a major adult genre that major stars would want to be a part of. By the 50's every major star and most of the top directors did westerns on a routine basis. There must be three dozen 50's westerns that are at least three star movies on a scale of four and Jubal is certainly one of them. The era ended when the adult western on TV started giving people for free what they were getting on the big screen. Then the times changed and westerns started to seem passé'. Looking at the really good ones from this era shows us what we've lost.

Still, despite the quality of this film, you can't help but think of other films as you watch it. There's the Grand Teton scenery, reminiscent of the greatest of all westerns, Shane. The story is alternately out of Othello or maybe the Bible, whatever you prefer. Rod Steiger is basically playing the same character he did in the previous year's Oklahoma. But the thing that really jumped out at me is that here we have the two Marty's. Steiger played the Bronx butcher in the original 1953 teleplay and Borgnine won an Oscar for it in the 1955 film. He's picked it up on 3/21/56, two weeks before this film opened. One wonders how Steiger, who surely wanted the role, and Borgnine, who got it, got along with each other during the filming of Jubal. They even have a fist-fight scene. But they were two professional actors playing roles other than Marty, so it probably made no difference.

Actually, the roles they play kind of parallel their performances as Marty. Steiger in most of his roles is a tortured introvert. Borgnine is a misunderstood extrovert. That's how they played Marty and that's how they play their roles here. It fits the story like a glove. There's even several references to how Valerie French finds him ugly and repulsive. Maybe he should have married Clara, (the girl from Marty).
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Absorbing western tale with spectacular Wyoming scenery and good cast...
Neil Doyle14 August 2007
JUBAL takes about forty-five minutes to set up its tale of revenge and murder and lust in the dust, but once the plot gets into high gear it becomes highly watchable until the conclusion.

GLENN FORD is an unhappy man on the run who's taken in by rancher ERNEST BORGNINE and his wife VALERIE FRENCH, earning his pay as a helper and suddenly promoted to foreman, much to the annoyance of ROD STEIGER, who wanted the job and also has his eyes on Borgnine's wife.

Ford spends most of the story trying to fend off the advances of Valerie French, who turns out to be a real Jezebel creating trouble between Ford and Borgnine when she makes her hubby believe the lies that jealous Steiger has told him. Before you know it, Ford is in deep trouble with nowhere to run except to seek the help of some peace loving pioneers on a wagon train, and a woman (FELICIA FARR) who wants to help him fight injustice.

Delmer Daves directs the actors through their paces with skill, except that he allows ROD STEIGER to chew too much of the scenery. Steiger struts about as if he's still playing Jud in OKLAHOMA! and never lets up for a moment being a nasty, snarling, cowardly villain. He's so despicable you can't help hating him.

On the other hand, CHARLES BRONSON shows considerable skill as Ford's friend, a gunslinger who saves Ford's life at a crucial moment. The film starts off a little too slowly before it gets to the mid-section where things really start to heat up. From then on, it's a top-rate western with strong performances from most of the cast.

Borgnine may be playing a "nice guy" for a change, but he's still obnoxious and boorish in his behavior and he sometimes overdoes the hearty laughter. His admission that he knows nothing about women or how to treat them, reminds me that "Marty" had the same problem.

Summing up: Good western, excellent photography, nice scenery and one of Glenn Ford's most underrated performances.
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Beautiful Scenery and Wonderful Acting
jpholt129 November 2004
This dramatic western is just what the doctor ordered. As fresh today as it was in 1956 when I was 2! The scenery alone is so impressive that watching Glenn Ford is just icing on the cake. These titanic actors really nail it on this film. I imagine the 'behind the scenes' horseplay was probably as good as what was captured on film. Ford is handsome as ever and decent down to his toes. Borgnine is a teddy bear that gets burned in the end. Steiger is the bad guy and is perfect for the role. A young Bronson in a small part shines. I watched this on the Western channel, which endlessly plays the same movies over and over. However I had never heard of this movie. Being a Glenn Ford fan, I figured that I'd at least watch the beginning. This film will not disappoint anyone who likes good writing, beautiful scenery and wonderful acting.
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A great and sadly under-valued western
Martin Bradley7 July 2009
Othello out West. Delmar Daves' great and unjustly neglected western finds Glenn Ford's title character falling prey to ranch-hand Rod Steiger's Iago-like jealously when Ernest Borgnine's Othello-like father figure picks him as his foreman and surrogate son. Throw in the machinations of wife Valerie French who has the hots for Ford and it isn't difficult for Steiger to convince Borgnine that there's something going on.

If Shakespeare's play is the blueprint, Daves' film is suitably complex in its own right and if Steiger displays a tendency to chew the scenery as he was wont to do, both Borgnine and Ford are outstanding, with Ford in particular proving something of a revelation. He has a terrific scene with Felicia Farr in which he describes his appalling childhood and how it made him the man he is. It's also magnificently photographed in cinemascope by Charles Lawton Jr; the exterior scenes are often breathtaking while the interiors use the widescreen to superb spatial effect.
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The music caught my attention as this powerful adult Western in constant suspense...
Nazi_Fighter_David22 August 1999
Warning: Spoilers
When a Wyoming cattle king, Shep Horgan (Ernest Borgnine), receives Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) in his ranch, his presence arouses strong emotions for his attractive young Canadian wife Mae...

Shep, a friendly good-natured husband and the best loved man in the territory, offers his help and trust to Jubal and names him his foreman... Shep was proud of the "sheep-herding friend" who got lost in the blizzard, and came over the pass from Montana, running from "bad luck."

Mae (Valerie French), a rancher's wanton wife, spins the plot by her attentions to the disinterested cowboy Jubal, which further stirs up the surly range rider (Rod Steiger) with whom she had previously been carrying on an affair, unknown to her genteel husband...

Truthful and straightforward, Jubal is caught between a loyal friend and an insistent desirous unfaithful wife who considers her husband's fine ranch a "10,000 acres of lonesomeness."

Mae was not in love with her unattractive husband... She thought she just picked the right guy to patch it up with... She even considered an evil plan in her mind... Maybe another affair, a new love, a murder...

One night, she went crazy... She lied to Shep telling him that Jubal was here in their room, in their bed... She yelled angrily in pain: "I'm sick to my stomach every time you kiss me. Let go of me. I hate you. I hate the way you look at me. I hate every single thing about you. I love him. Do you hear? I love Jube."

In that moment, Mae inflames a torrid fuse of sex, jealousy and revenge which make of Delmer Daves' "Jubal" a rather engrossing piece of adult entertainment...

Glenn Ford was honest in his feelings toward his boss ("Shep made me feel like somebody. Shep gave me a reason for living.") ignoring that he was caught in a net of lies, murder, and uncontrolled passions...

Rod Steiger was exceptional as the sadistic top hand who strongly disliked Jubal's gizzard... Pinky spots Mae's sights on Jubal... His jealous was so great as his strong sexual desire for the ex-lover...

In her film debut, Felicia Far was the radiant and beautiful as the little Rawhider responding to expert handling...

"Jubal" returned Charles Bronson to the West and to the company of director Delmer Daves, with whom he had made "Drum Beat." Cast as a ranch-hand friend of Ford's in the employ of Borgnine, Bronson contributes his natural masculine presence to this psychological Western...

Set against the mountainous fertile valley of the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, and beautifully photographed in CinemaScope and Technicolor, "Jubal" is a powerful adult Western in constant suspense...
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Three Into Two Won't Go
bkoganbing27 July 2004
Well you've got three men out at the Horgan Ranch, Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, and Rod Steiger. And you got two gals on the scene, Felicia Farr and Valerie French. Valerie is married to Ernie, been fooling around with Rod and suddenly drops Rod when Glenn arrives, having been rescued by the Horgan cowhands. Ernie, who hasn't a clue what's going on with Valerie, takes a liking to Glenn and makes the stranger his foreman. Glenn in the meantime takes a shine to Felicia who's with some kind of Mennonite group traveling west. Rod's upset because Valerie's dumped him and Glenn already has a girl. And that sets the stage for the later events.

This may be a glib synopsis, but this is a nicely photographed adult western with some themes not usually explored in the Saturday matinée shoot-em-ups. The whole cast fills their roles very well and among the supporting players, particular kudos should go to Charles Bronson as Ford's friend and Basil Ruysdael as the leader of the Mennonites.

This film was made in the afterglow of Borgnine's Oscar win with Marty and he was starting to get some good parts, not your standard movie thugs. It's also interesting to compare Ford, Steiger, and Borgnine playing three different types by three very different actors.
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excellent western with great actors, great scenery and colors.
Delmer Daves directed many westerns and Jubal is probably his best. Everything went right in this film, the beautiful scenery, the music and the actors. Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Charles Bronson and also two western old timers Noah Beery Jr. and Jack Elam. The story is also unusual, about Jubal, a man that always ran away from trouble, but decides not run any more. But circumstances turn against him when Mae (Valerie French), his boss's wife tries to seduce him. There is no way he can come out of it not scarred, we know that from a long time ago, from Joseph in the Bible. Also the woman he falls in love with, Naomi (Felicia Farr) is to be wed to another man. This is one of the rare times when I enjoyed a film (in DVD with widescreen and great colors) more than when I saw it for the first time in 1956.
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A tragically underrated film
MisterMickey3 July 2002
is a perfect way to express how I feel about JUBAL. Director Delmar Daves takes an outstanding Western cast & takes a Shakespearean tragedy, then mixes the two elements. The result is not only one of the best westerns of the 1950s, but one of the best films of the decade, & one of the best westerns ever. From the performance of the entire cast, to Raskin's score, it's outstanding all around.

Don't miss this one. Just see it again & again.
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Glenn Ford and Charles Bronson
NewEnglandPat24 June 2003
This western is a rewarding film that has a great cast and the wonderful scenery of Wyoming's Grand Tetons. The tragic elements of high drama are here in this solid adult western where a wife's unhappiness and flawed values conspire to make an innocent man a fugitive from justice. Glenn Ford is the traditional western cowboy, a man of strength, toughness, and character who becomes a trusted ranch foreman while spurning the advances of an amorous but insecure married woman. Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, and Charles Bronson are great in this film. Felicia Farr and Valerie French are also excellent in romantic angles as women with very different approaches to relationships with men. This western deserves greater popularity than it has received.
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You know, sometimes I think it's givin' the good Lord the worst of it to say he invented people.
Spikeopath30 January 2011
Jubal is directed by Delmer Daves and adapted by Daves and Russell S. Hughes from the Paul Wellman novel, Jubal Troop. It stars Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Charles Bronson, Valerie French & Felicia Farr. David Raksin scores the music and Charles Lawton Jr. is the cinematographer. Out of Columbia Pictures it's a CinemaScope/Technicolor production, and location for the shoot is Jackson Hole, The Grand Tetons, Wyoming, USA.

Jubal Troop (Ford) is found exhausted out on the range and given shelter at a nearby ranch owned by Shep Horgan (Borgnine). Shep oversees Jubal's recovery and offers him a job as part of his ranch team. This is met with objection by Shep's mean foreman, Pinky (Steiger), but Shep is undeterred and Jubal goes on to prove his worth in the position. Shep and Jubal get on great, but trouble is brewing because Shep's pretty Canadian wife, Mae (French), has taken quite a shine to Jubal. This further enrages Pinky, and a hornets nest is stirred, spelling trouble for practically everyone.

Delmer Daves' (Dark Passage/Broken Arrow) Jubal is often likened to William Shakespeare's Othello, that's something that, whilst being flattering, is best ignored. For Jubal, and its makers, deserve credit in their own right for producing such a tight, tense, adult Western. It's a film that's driven by characters who are caught in a web of jealousy and suppressed emotions, with the underrated Daves bringing some psychological dimensions into the narrative. He's also a director who knows that such a story benefits greatly by not including action and violence just for the sake of upping the tempo. He paces this film to precision, winding up the tension to breaking point, then to unleash all the pent up fury on the viewers, but even then he (correctly) chooses to keep some critical moments off the screen, gaining results far better than if stuff had actually been shown the audience (two shots in the finale are stupendously memorable).

This griping human drama is played out in front of magnificent scenery, where Daves and Lawton Jr. (3:10 to Yuma/Comanche Station) utilise the CinemaScope and Technicolor facilities to their maximum potential. Filling the widescreen frame with majestic mountains,vibrant slanted forests and rolling grassy hills. The Grand Tetons location had previously been used in other notable Western movies, such as The Big Trail, The Big Sky and famously for George Stevens' Shane. While post Jubal it served a considerable purpose for Dances with Wolves. All of this grandeur for the eyes is boosted by Raksin's (Laura/Fallen Angel) score, with gentle swirls for the tender Jubal/Naomi thread and rushes for the posse sequences, it's an arrangement very at one with the mood and tempo of the story.

The cast list oozes star power, and gets performances to match. Ford is a master at roles calling for underplayed intensity, and that's what he gives Jubal Troop. Keeping the characters cards close to his chest in the beginning, Ford pitches it perfect as the emotionally bottled up drifter. Borgnine, a year after his Oscar win for Marty, is perfect foil to Ford's calmness, he's in turn big and boisterous, often crude, yet under the bluster is a sweet and honest man. And there in the middle of the three men is Steiger, bringing the method. Pinky is brooding, devious and one pulse beat away from being psychotic, but Steiger, with a menacing drawl flowing out of his mouth, is creepily mannered. Steiger and Daves clashed other how to play Pinky, the director wanting something more akin to Ford's serene like role play, but Steiger wanted it played bitter and coiled spring like; the actor getting his way when producer William Fadiman sided with him.

Valerie French (Decision at Sundown) looks beautiful in Technicolor, and in spite of an accent problem, does a neat line in how to play a smoldering fuse in a box of fire crackers. Felicia Farr (The Last Wagon) is the polar opposite, religiously comely and virginal, she's a touch underused but the play off with French impacts well in the story. Key support goes to Charles Bronson (The Magnificent Seven) as loyal friend to Jubal, Reb. Played with laid back machismo, it's something of what would become the trademark Bronson performance. Other notables in the support cast are the always value for money Noah Beery Jr. (Wagons West), John Dierkes (The Hanging Tree) and Jack Elam (The Man From Laramie).

Damn fine film that's worthy of being sought out by those interested in the best of the 50s slew of Adult Westerns. 8.5/10
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Great Cast of Veteran Actors
whpratt126 March 2007
Have not seen this film in years and enjoyed this story in which Glenn Ford, (Jubal Troop) is injured and falls onto a dirt road and is discovered by Ernest Borgnine,(Shep Hogan) and he takes him back to his ranch and in time offers him a job and then a full time position as his top ranch hand. This quick decision causes problems among the other ranch hands who have worked for Shep Hogan a very long time. Rod Steiger,( Pinky Pinkum) instantly resents Jubal Troop and suspects him of being a sheep herder and constantly tells him he smells like sheep poop. Valerie French (Mae Hogan) is a woman who likes to fool around with other men and has tried out most of the ranch hands and she instantly gets hot over Jubal Troop which starts another side to the story.
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Glenn Ford IS Jubal Troop!
mycatslyone28 May 2005
I watch this every time it's on cable & never tire of seeing it! The scenery is just beautiful & the acting is superb! You'll love to hate Rod Steiger's "Pinky" character becuz he's so connivingly loathsome. Borgnine is at his 'happy-go-lucky' best. Ford is his honest-to-goodness handsome self. And Charles Bronson is Ford's faithful friend. Ford's love interest plays a Mormon, a natural beauty with a cute little turned-up nose but I don't see her in the credits. Am I missing something? Because she has a very important role in this film! (She also played opposite Richard Widmark in a western but I forgot the name of it.)
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Just caught this movie on cable and loved it!
cruzincat10 July 2003
If for no other reason watch this movie for its locations. The Grand Tetons are the show stealer here. It makes me want to travel to Wyoming even more than I had wanted to before. The movie is excellent as well, especially if you are a Glenn Ford fan.
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Brooding machismo
moonspinner558 April 2006
Western drama verging on cowboy soap opera, given typically florid, overheated Delmer Daves direction. Ranch-hand Glenn Ford attempts to avoid the flirtatious advances of his boss's wife, but lingering doubts and gossip eventually turn the situation violent. If this sounds familiar, think Shakespeare's "Othello" in chaps. The terrific male stars (Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, and, in a lesser role, Charles Bronson) are much better than the screenplay, which has them arguing over a woman (Valerie French) who hardly seems worth the trouble. Still, it looks good and builds to a tense, if overripe, conclusion. **1/2 from ****
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Excellent mid-50s Adult Western with Glenn Ford
Wuchak12 March 2014
Released in 1956, "Jubal" is easily one of the best 50's Westerns and ranks with my all-time favorites.

THE STORY: An injured drifter, Glenn Ford as Jubal Troop, is rescued by ranch-owner Shep (Earnest Borgnine), who ultimately promotes him to foreman of his ranch. This stirs up the envy of ranch-hand Pinky (Rod Steiger) and the desire of Shep's young sexpot wife, Mae (Valerie French), which results in even more hostility from Pinky since he used to enjoy the adulterous attentions of Mae until Jubal came along. The captivating drama is as old as the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife from Genesis 39.

Add to this mix a group of trespassing Mennonites (or perhaps Quakers) who have in their company Naomi (Felicia Farr), a godly woman who attracts Jube's romantic eye, and Reb (Charles Bronson), another drifter who befriends Jube.

WHAT WORKS: For the first hour and ten minutes or so "Jubal" is captivating cinema of the highest order. Shep (Borgnine) is simpleminded and naïve, but likable and full of mirth. Mae (French) is fully clothed at all times, yet somehow oozes sexuality with every simple glance or word, proving that sexiness involves way more than merely showing skin. Naomi (Farr) is an interesting addition to the story: her purity attracts Jube just as much as Mae's adulterous tactics turn him off.

Rod Steiger is perfect as the villainous Southerner-turned-Westerner "Pinky." Notice how his hostility toward Jubal is rooted in arrogance, envy and jealousy. Also notice that his strategy to destroy Jubal is deception -- getting others to believe lies. This is how it happens in real life with enemies who hate you for no actual reason. Since there's no grounds for their hatred they resort to lies to destroy your reputation and poison people's minds against you.

Glenn Ford is perfect as the tragedy-laden drifter and how can you go wrong with (a young) Charles Bronson?

A big bonus is that the film was shot on location with the mighty Grand Tetons as a backdrop the entire story. These magnificent Wyoming mountains are nothing short of breathtaking!

The last act is potent in that it reveals the destructive power of a lie, IF it's believed. The only people liars can deceive are simpletons with no discernment; the wise remain skeptical until they observe concrete proof. You'll notice that two of Shep's men refuse to take Pinky as his word because they discern his fleshly motivations, not to mention they likely caught him in lies before.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: There's too much scampering around in the last act as the plot ties-up loose ends, but it's redeemed by the powerful subtext. Also, the opening credits score is understandably dated but, thankfully, the rest of the score isn't bad for the 50s; in other words, it doesn't prevent you from enjoying the movie.

BOTTOM LINE: Make no mistake, "Jubal" is a powerful psychological Western; there's thankfully no Disney-like unrealistic vibe anywhere to be found, nor lame attempts at humor (like "The Desperadoes"). The film expertly touches on issues of friendship, envy, jealousy, competition, lust, hate, love, hope and the destructive power of a lie.

Let me add that Jubal is a man of fascinating noble character: he amazingly resists the skillful advances of the luscious Mae, like Joseph with Potiphar's wife, obviously because he wanted something better -- a woman he could trust!

"Jubal" is a must for every Western fan's film library.

The film runs 100 minutes.

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Intense psychoplay
Tipu14 February 2000
'Intense psychoplays' are the lot of today's genre revisionists, but in 1956 'Jubal' must have been a welcome change. This sexually charged film has a brilliant performance from Borgnine as the powerful child man who does not quite understand his woman. It is amazing the way with one masterful twitch of those bushy eyebrows & Borgnine transforms himself into the the other extreme - the powerful evil man - in so many movies. Steiger is in his elements too as the sulking horny cowardly cowhand. The other two points of the quadrangle – Valerie French as Borgnine's wife & Glenn Ford in the title role, as well as the climax fail to raise our expectations to the next level. Leonard Maltin calls this a Western Othello, but I will hold my comments on that. There is a naive husband & poison tongued assistant, & a scene with Borgnine towering over his sleeping wife trying to find evidence of her infidelity, but everything else is so different one cannot really hope to find the bard in Borgnine's ranch. Daves had made the brilliant 'Dark Passage' with Bogie & Bacall earlier & this almost holds up to it.
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dougdoepke6 October 2009
In the mid-1950's writer-director Delmer Daves made a series of superior westerns for Columbia studios. Too bad these films have not gotten their critical due from movie historians or critics. Perhaps it's because they lack the thematic continuity of a Buddy Boetticher or a John Ford to tie them together. Still each entry presents its own distinct virtues and all are greatly entertaining. If the compact, and tautly told "3:10 to Yuma" is the best of the lot, the scenic and sprawling "Jubal" runs a close second. This mid-series film features Glenn Ford's easy-going charm, a rowdy Earnest Borgnine, a luscious Valerie French, and the panoramic backdrop of Jackson Hole Wyoming. And in an odd piece of casting, which Daves seems fond of, method actor extrordinaire Rod Steiger appears as a treacherous ranch hand named of all things, Pinky! Following the dueling styles of Ford vs. Steiger is at least as interesting as the otherwise well-staged outbursts of gunplay.

Judging from other entries, such as 1958's "Cowboy", Daves seems genuinely intrigued by the real life of cowhands. Thus the cowhands in Jubal are more vividly drawn and distinctively presented than their usual role as faceless stage props. The story itself features a fairly explicit (for its time) woman in heat (French), whose scheming shenanigans set off a plot- driving chain of events, while shifting alliances among ranch hands and settlers round out a sprawling and sometimes over-generous plot. And, oh yes, making a sudden appearance half way through, a lonesome Charles Bronson in a tacked on role that perhaps provided a needed payday, (Daves and Bronson had been together in the earlier, oddball essay "Drumbeat".) If none of this sounds good, then just sit back and take in the beautifully photographed alpine landscape that has salvaged many a western much less worthy than "Jubal".
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Othello Out West
utgard1426 July 2014
Solid western directed by Delmer Daves. It tells the story of a cowboy named Jubal (Glenn Ford) who is hired by rancher Shep (Ernest Borgnine) and catches the eye of Shep's young wife (Valerie French). This doesn't sit well with Pinky (Rod Steiger), who works for Shep and has been having an affair with his wife.

Essentially a western reworking of Othello with Ford as Cassio, Borgnine as Othello, French as Desdemona and Steiger as Iago. The leads are all terrific. Fine direction, script, music, and beautiful Wyoming location shooting. Nice supporting cast includes Charles Bronson, Jack Elam, Noah Beery Jr., and Felicia Farr. A very good western from a decade full of them. Definitely recommended.
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A really good story...that should be very familiar.
MartinHafer14 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
If you remember the story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis, you may recall how Joseph was sold (by his brothers) into slavery in Egypt. However, he soon got a job with a guy named Potiphar and became his foreman--gaining his master's devotion and respect. However, Potiphar's wife was a frisky devil and had her eyes set on Joseph. But Joseph was a moral man and loved Potiphar and consistently refused--so the bad wife was about to hatch an evil plan. So much of this is the story in "Jubal"--and quite a bit more--a western that was clearly inspired by this Biblical tale.

The film begins with a drifter (Jubal, played by Glenn Ford) coming upon a large ranch. While some of the workers are very hostile towards the drifter--particularly an annoying jerk, Pinky (played by Rod Steiger). But the owner, Shep (Ernest Borgnine), is a nice man and hires Jubal. Soon, Shep notices what a great worker Jubal is and soon he makes him his foreman but there are two serious problems. First, Pinky is a bitter jerk who is determined to undermine Jubal. Second, Shep's wife is a total skunk and is determined to sleep with Jubal--something he wants nothing to do with at all. Not surprisingly, this all comes to a very bad end. Like Joseph, will this all work out in the end or will poor Jubal be totally screwed? What I liked about this is that although the basic story of Joseph is here, there are a lot of difference--so it has some unpredictability about it. Also, the story introduced some new characters. While Pinky is pretty much Steiger's Judd from "Oklahoma", Charles Bronson plays a really great supporting character--one of the actors first solid roles. And, in a genre known for only a handful of basic plots, this one is really new and different. Overall, I really liked this one and recommend you give it a try. I can't imagine you not liking it.
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Ho-hum characters in an unrealized tale set in beautiful Wyoming
davdecrane20 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A stolid Western offering minor interest because it focuses more on love and jealousy than action and violence, Jubal still feels like a long day in the saddle. The acting is generally according to type and nothing more: Glenn Ford is laconic if not emotionally stunted, with eyes that never display any emotion; Ernest Borgnine is better, a bit tamped down from his usual volatile self, though he stills careens from best-buddy to big threat; Valerie French is terrible as the bad Canadian (!) hussy but the role is mostly a device to animate Rod Steiger's jealous Pinky. He's the best character in the movie, but still one dimensional with no arc: bad to the bone from beginning till the end. Ford's eponymous Jubal character actually has a backstory out of Sergio Leone (a mother who wanted him to drown) but he reveals it in an unmotivated scene with Felicia Farr's young Mormon. (As always, the real fault lies with the screenwriter.) More interesting to watch than the characters is the beautiful Jackson Hole scenery, a welcome change from the dusty California backdrop of most oaters.
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Know who you really are
Luis Guillermo Cardona17 March 2010
"There are two types of human beings that I deserve consideration: those men who get money at all costs because they consider only in this way shall be accepted by a woman and women who are attracted only by money, they decide to indulge in such men. Here ensured an unhappy relationship. First, as he is underestimated and is, therefore, deeply jealous, believe that because they have paid very well to the woman (who pulled out of the blue, he says) is entitled to her to be his slave. Not open to anyone who looks, speaks, or leave to have another man as a friend than him. He does not want to study or to work to avoid contact with others who may be attracted by her beauty. In short, a man so insecure and so afraid that if he had locked up in a cage that he alone had the key. Secondly, no woman, fairly lucid, is willing to live in such conditions. And so, feeling bitter about the persecution and imprisonment, and to understand that material objects did not fill, and that the openness and the deep affection that every woman wants, not what is in man, the woman begins to be hard on him, showing derogatory and does not respond to petting as he wanted.

And so began the beatings, drunkenness, infidelities one way or another... and an eternal bitterness filled with tears and frustration, until one of the two decide that you must walk away from that relationship".

This comment, I've taken verbatim from my book "Tomorrow the sun will rise", defines an experience similar to that recreates, to great effect, this master of cinema called in Delmer Daves his film "Jubal", a story of a landowner in his fifties (the always brilliant Ernest Borgnine) who married a beautiful and sensual young woman (Valerie French) who only sees in him a rough man, covered in money.Then their lives will intersect in a shepherd named Jubal (Glenn Ford) who, as estimated by the farmer, became his foreman and the type of man who will definitely attract the bitter girl.

Daves then be responsible for defining human profiles are credible, they are nuanced and have actual reasons that explain their actions. The staging is sober, a real estates it is the scene of loneliness to this clash of emotions.

"Jubal" is a psychological western where the action is focused essentially on the emotions and suspicions of the characters, from the shootings and fights to the background, without the least decay rate or the force of history.

A film for any anthology of classic westerns.
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Shakespeare on the Range
dglink15 August 2007
Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Othello," Delmar Daves film "Jubal" is a better-than-average western that emphasizes character over action. Rancher Ernest Borgnine befriends drifter Glenn Ford and hires him over the objections of his ranch hand, Rod Steiger. Meanwhile, Borgnine's young wife, who has history with Steiger, has tired of her husband and casts her ever-roving eye on the handsome Ford, who stoically avoids any involvement with her because of his friendship with Borgnine. However, Steiger, who is eager to insert a wedge between Ford and Borgnine, uses innuendo to incite Borgnine's jealousy, and events develop expectedly. While such a tangled tale of domestic intrigue could have been stretched over several episodes of "As the World Turns," "Jubal" remains above soap opera and focuses on Ford's personal conflict between his fidelity to a man he perceives as a father figure and his lust for a woman who makes herself available to him at every turn.

With a fine cast that also includes Charles Bronson, Noah Beery Jr., and Felicia Farr, "Jubal" is engrossing if predictable. Rod Steiger is particularly good in a role that is reminiscent of his Judd Fry in "Oklahoma," and Ernest Borgnine plays against type as the good-hearted guy who is deceived by the woman he adores. Ford, who was never an actor of great range, is nevertheless solid and likable as "Jubal." Although encounters with a religious group of migrants aid the plot, they also distract from the central story, and a romantic attraction between Ford and Farr as a virginal young migrant is unnecessary and unconvincing. Good acting, an intriguing story, and capable direction make "Jubal" a cut above other westerns, and the sexual intrigue, which is held within the confines of the production-code limits, give the film an adult flavor that is often missing in other films of the genre.
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well worth seeing
Robert D. Ruplenas19 November 2012
I caught this on Comcast's list of free movies, and considering the overall quality level of the flicks Comcast offers for free, I wasn't expecting much. However, I watched it after reading the generally positive comments here, and those comments were correct.

There are so many westerns that, just by the law of averages, most of them are mediocre, but "Jubal" is an unexpected standout. The plot - a reworking of "Othello" as has been noted - is a disquisition on the themes of jealousy, loyalty, honor, betrayal, and friendship. Those themes have been done ad infinitum in other movies but I think two things stand put in "Jubal." First is the very high quality of the script. The dialogue is spare, straightforward and free of the hackneyed prose so endemic to most westerns. Second is the outstanding level of the acting, which is perhaps not unexpected with the likes of the great (and greatly underrated) Glenn Ford, Rod Steiger, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson. Another factor that doesn't hurt is the outstanding cinematography of western vistas.

A surprising sleeper, not to be missed if you get the chance to see it.
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1 out of 5 action rating
Skip it – This is a heart-warming western, but the plot has been recycled so often that you've probably seen it a dozen times. A mysterious man joins up with a ranch and impresses everyone with his cowboy skills. He quickly works his way up the ranks and wins the trust of the boss. But the man who wants to be foreman gets jealous and tries to turn the boss against him. That's it in a nutshell. This western does feature a great cast including Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, and Rod Steiger. But if a plot is unoriginal, you need more than a great cast. You need action - and on that front, this movie does not deliver. There's only one significant gunfight to speak of. Most of the movie feels like a soap opera.
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