In Tomahawk, the crooked Jackman brothers control the town, Sheriff Dunham is up for re-election, the sheep growers are banned in town and a stagecoach line undercover investigator arrives to catch the gang that regularly robs the stages.
When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »
Two brothers, Ben and Clint, join a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. While heading for Texas they save Nella from the Indians, and she decides to ride with them. Ben and Nella start to ... See full summary »
Jeff Carr, a special investigator, arrives in Tomahawk. His assignment is to discover who has been holding up the local stagecoach and is guilty for a series of killings that terrorize the town. Sheepman Alec Black is suspected by the local population but it is not long before Jeff realizes the man is innocent. Alec even becomes a good friend although he is in love with the same woman as him, Holly. Jeff will manage to arrest the real culprits but not before the latter try to compromise him down. Written by
Good-looking Lex Barker will probably always be known as one of the best of the Tarzans, but he shows here he was also one of the best Western actors.
He is accompanied here by some of the finest actors -- not necessarily best known, but extremely talented performers -- ever to grace the Western screen.
Mara Corday was simply gorgeous, but she was also an excellent rider and an actress who should have received more adulation.
Stephen McNally was usually an excellent city slicker, and he frankly surprised me in this Western role. "Cowboy" is not strictly apt since his character was head of the sheepmen, but he looks as if he had been a cowboy all his life. This is an eye-opening performance.
My favorite in "The Man from Bitter Ridge" is Trevor Bardette, as the incumbent sheriff. This might be his best role ever, and it is one of his best performances. He is so completely watchable as the left-handed sheriff, you will want to watch and re-watch this movie just to watch his expressions and gestures. Extraordinary!
Surely one of the slimiest Western villains of all time, and another really excellent actor, is a man I've loved to watch for, really, decades, Myron Healey. "Slimy" is just the perfect description of his character, but he is so much more in this role.
I remember Myron Healey playing the prosecuting attorney in a Durango Kid movie and being astonished at his ability to play one of the good guys. It merely proved Mr. Healey was a by gosh actor!
As the brains heavy, John Dehner was another surprise. What a calm and controlled portrayal of the most villainous of the villains. His IMDb bio reads in part, "A tall and distinguished looking man with a rich voice and somewhat flamboyant demeanor, Dehner often was cast as an outlaw leader ..." Well, yes, he was the outlaw leader, but, to repeat, his character was far from "flamboyant," being calm and controlled and in charge. Excellent characterization.
There is good dialogue, and excellent directing. Director Jack Arnold might be best known for science fiction, but he won awards for TV and his Westerns earn high praise.
"The Man from Bitter Ridge" is a blah generic title but an exciting and beautifully presented movie. I urge you to see it, and you can at YouTube.
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