Set in the early 1880s, this is the story of one of the last buffalo hunts in the Northwest. Sandy McKinzie is tired of hunting buffalo, and tired of killing-Charley on the other hand ... See full summary »
Set in the early 1880s, this is the story of one of the last buffalo hunts in the Northwest. Sandy McKinzie is tired of hunting buffalo, and tired of killing-Charley on the other hand relishes the hunt and enjoys killing buffalo and Indians. When Charley kills an Indian raiding party, and takes their squaw as his own, tension develops between the two hunters, and matters will only be settled in a showdown. Written by
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Robert Taylor is magnificent in an Oscar worthy performance!
This is the most compelling and excellent performance that Robert Taylor ever gave. It even surpasses his wonderful performance as "Johnny Eager" coming a full 14 years after that film. His looks are still a wonder to see, but he has a maturity now that gives him the edge in this gritty, violent role. Charlie Gilson (Taylor) is the last of his breed, a buffalo hunter who kills not for the money but for the pleasure. His wild eyed killing of not only buffalo but human beings, is stunning to watch. He is basically a lonely man, needing the people around him, but they dislike him because of his sociopath behavior. His partner is Sandy McKenzie (Stewart Granger) who is sick of the hunt, and only goes along, because he is a failure at anything else. Along the way Charlie kills a family of Indians and captures the beautiful Debra Pagent. Charlie tries to seduce her to no avail, but sees that Sandy is interested in her also. Granger is kind of sad to watch, so fed up with the hunt, longing to go away with the girl and her baby. Lloyd Nolan as the drunken skinner is wonderful with his wise cracks and accordian playing. Russ Tamblyn plays the half breed trying to fit in a white world. The group is an odd mix of good and evil, young and old. In the end Taylor gets spooked by the buffalo, as many hunters before him had, and runs off leaving Sandy with the girl. Upon his return, that night Sandy leaves with the woman, setting Charlie off on a rampage of killing in a quest to get Sandy and have the girl for himself. The final confrontation comes in a snow storm and the last scene is so shocking that you will never forget it. It is Taylor's film all the way and he was truly a much underrated actor of the era.
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