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A Wyoming rancher and his foreman journey to Oregon to get breeding steers in order to raise cattle that can withstand the harsh Wyoming winters. What the rancher doesn't know is that he is the target of a plot to murder him and steal his cattle. Written by
Canyon River, a western from Allied Artists and starring George Montgomery tries to pack a little too much plot in the 80 minute film. And one performer was completely miscast in the role of villain.
Peter Graves as Montgomery's foreman on his cattle ranch is fixing to betray Montgomery in his scheme to bring furrier Hertford cattle to Wyoming from Oregon. Texas longhorns haven't enough hair to survive Wyoming winters. But Graves who says he wants to be his own boss is planning a double cross with villains Walter Sande and Robert Wilkie.
Try as I might I could not wrap myself around Peter Graves as a rat. When he did play one in Stalag 17 the idea was during over half the film you don't know he's the barracks informer with his all-American demeanor. Here we know right away and I couldn't buy it.
Later on in the film Graves is shot and Montgomery brings him to the tender care of widow Marcia Henderson and her son Richard Eyer. Graves falls for her, but she's got eyes for George. Now that would have been good plot motivation from the beginning.
I also could not buy the fact that Montgomery went to a saloon in Oregon where the town low lifes imbibe, beat Alan Hale in a fight, and then win the whole crew of miscreants over with promise of employment. That was really too much.
Canyon River which boasted some nice scenic western cinematography on the plus side was not one of George Montgomery's better roles.
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