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Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van Johnson)hiding in his garage. A former drunkard, Donald had been sent to the penitentiary five years previously for killing a man in a barroom brawl. It was in self-defense but P.M. hadn't defended his brother and he was convicted. Donald has escaped and wants his brother to help him across the Santa Cruz River into the Mexico-side Nogales, where his wife (Shirley Patterson as Shawn Smith)and children (Kim Charney and Sandy Deschler) are in dire straits. The straits get even dier when P.M. tells him the river is flooded and it will be days before anyone can cross. And P.M. is all a'twitter because his wife Nora (Ruth Roman), whom he married after Donald had gone to prison, doesn't know about his jail-bird brother. He introduces Donald to Nora and the rest of his Cadillac Cowboy and ranch society friends... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The chimes on the doorbell to Joseph Cotten (Pat Martin)'s house play "How Dry I Am". Quite fitting considering Van Johnson (Donald)'s drinking problem and the "lushy" household guests that tempt him. See more »
A rich rancher and lawyer has to accommodate his on-the-run brother who has escaped from a prison. Joseph Cotten has had better parts to play than this one, although it isn't too bad. A lot of the best scenes are in his ranch house, which with the set decorations and DeLuxe color looks really great. As well is a get together that occurs at another ranch house which looks equally cool. There's a lot of drinking going on and talking about drinking, but Van Johnson, who's supposed to be the alcoholic brother on the lam from Joliet for killing someone in a bar fight doesn't have a part that captures the essence of alcoholism very effectively. In the end his part is not believable. Jack Carson, however, who plays Cotten's neighbor on the next ranch over, is great as the movie heads into a manhunt for Johnson, with Carson leading a posse. The central story of Cotten and Johnson as two brothers who overcome their differences has been done so many times that it isn't much of a story. Ruth Roman, as Cotten's wife is OK though her sexual frustration with Cotten (they sleep in separate rooms and have been doing so for a long time) is also not believable. If she had started something with Johnson, this film would have been launched into another orbit. As it is, it's burdened by predictability with only the cool sets, DeLuxe color, and Carson to save it.
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