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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 get romantic, but Ben isn't ambitious enough for her, and she soon meets up with the boss of the cattle drive. Will she make the right choice, and, more importantly, will the cattle make it to Montana ! Written by
Colin Tinto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Ben and Clint first enter the saloon and the livery stable in Mineral city, Clint's two-gun rig is hidden by his coat. When Clint follows Stark into the livery stable, his guns are strapped on the outside and over his coat, yet when they ride out of town, his guns are back under the coat. See more »
[pointing to a lynched man dangling from a tree limb]
Colonel Ben Allison:
Looks like we're close to civilization.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: MONTANA TERRITORY 1866
They came from the South, headed for the goldfields...Ben and Clint Allison, lonely, desperate men. Riding away from a heartbreak memory of Gettysburg. Looking for a new life. A story of tall men - and long shadows. See more »
It seems to me that with few exceptions, the best western films were made in the 1950s. The Tall Men is one of the best.
What makes it work so well is what made any Clark Gable movie work; Clark Gable. He had an on screen presence that has been rivaled by few, if any, leading men before or since. As Robert Ryan's character, Nathan Stark, says of gable's character Ben Allison, "he's what every boy wants to be when he grows up, and what every man wishes he had been when he's old." This is a line clearly meant to describe Gable himself.
The film's plot is predictable but it works. Ben Allison and his brother Clint are down on their luck after serving in the Civil War "in a left handed sort of way" as rebels with Quantrill's Raiders. They decide to hold up a cattle baron (Stark) for some fast cash. But in a twist, they agree to return his money and sign on with him for a dangerous cattle drive north for the promise of greater earnings. Along the way Jayne Russell shows up to be the love interest.
Cameron Mitchell is excellent in a role he seems to have perfected, that of a drunken gunslinger who gets his due before the film ends. Juan Garcia is superb as the leader of a Mexican crew of caballeros that once served with Colonel Allison and have remained loyal to him over the years. You can see his total loyalty to "Colonel Allison" in everything he says and does.
All in all, a top notch film.
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