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Jim Slater's father (whom he never knew) died in the Apache ambush at Gila Valley, and Jim is searching for the one survivor, who supposedly went for help but disappeared with a lot of gold. In the process, he gets several people gunning for him, and he keeps meeting liberated woman Karyl Orton, who may be on a similar mission. Renewed Apache hostilities and an impending range war provide complications. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Anyone else but Richard Widmark, and BACKLASH might have been a forgettable, hollow mystery set in the old West. As it is, Widmark and a dark-tressed, feisty Donna Reed give this slight tale some real impact as two people searching for lost loved ones, Reed her husband and Widmark his father. The two missing men may have been among a group that amassed a small fortune in gold, then massacred by Apaches. The truths Widmark and Reed must face by the climax are tough to take, but these two prove tougher than they might at first appear. Getting to the truth ends up with the two of them caught in the middle of a range war between two ranches. John McIntire also does a nice turn as the supremely evil head of one of the warring ranches. Great outdoor photography lends the film an air of authenticity it might have missed on a studio sound stage or back lot. John Sturges directed.
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