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Elvis plays Clint Reno, one of the Reno brothers who stayed home while his brother went to fight in the Civil War for the Confederate army. When his brother Vance comes back from the war, he finds that his old girlfriend Cathy has married Clint. The family has to struggle to reach stability with this issue. Vance is involved in a train robbery, while a Confederate soldier, of Federal Government money. There is a conflict of interest, when Vance tries to return the money, against the wishes of some of his fellow Confederates. Written by
Pat McCurry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the robbery of the payroll train, up the track in the direction of the train's travel, there are modern CTC block signals of the Southern Pacific Railroad which were installed in the 1930s (beyond the siding switch). Centralized Traffic Control for railroads did not exist in 1865, nor did the heavier rail on the right of way shown in the film (at least 100 pounds). See more »
Solid movie with excellent introspective performances.
The fanfare of a young Elvis Presley and his first movie certainly was blinding when it came to this movie. It was hard for people to see past it, however, upon viewing the picture, Presley's star dims as he takes his seat at the table among some of the acting greats of cinema. The viewer relinquishes the idea that it's Elvis and accepts him as the doting youngest son of the Reno family.
Dramatic without being maudlin, the picture chronicles the lives of one family post-Civil War, and how each member dealt with the harsh realities of war. Hearing that the eldest son Vance (Egan) has died, Clint (Presley) and Vance's former love (Paget) marry in the aftermath of the murder of her parents and the Reno boys father. As is in wartime, things become increasingly more difficult when he and his two other brothers Brett (Campbell) and Ray (Drury) to find this, as well the spoils of war haunting them shortly upon their return.
It's an honest look at a difficult time in this country, with great performances all around -- from the handsome, impressive lead Richard Egan on down the cast. Egan's portrayal of Vance Reno is an amazing performance -- restrained without being stolid, much as men were during the time. Egan gives glimpses into the inner turmoil that sits just below the characters surface, making the character heartbreakingly sympathetic and admirable.
It's Elvis Presley's best performance and (dare I say only worthwhile) role and film. Upon reflection, his co-stars helped to elevate him into something more than what followed (with films) and Presley really seems to have taken this one seriously. Regardless of whether you're a Presley fan or not, the understated performances, simple but effective storyline and message, and moving conclusion make this a must see.
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