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The Maverick Queen (1956)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  3 May 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 277 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

A Pinkerton detective goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of thieves whose boss is a feisty lady saloonkeeper. Complications ensue.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Kit Banion
Jeff Younger
Mary Murphy ...
Lucy Lee
Howard Petrie ...
The Stranger - the real Jeff Younger
Emile Meyer ...
Leo Malone
Walter Sande ...
Sheriff Wilson
George Keymas ...
Taylor Holmes ...
Pete Callaher
Pierre Watkin ...
Joni James ...
Joni James - Title Song Singer


Kit Banion, a Virginia-born beauty and product of post-Civil War chaos, has settled in Wyoming and prospered; acquiring a fortune and a hotel, which, like the owner bears the name of "The Maverick Queen."---a title picked up by Kit in her earlier days in Wyoming when she took every unbranded steer and put her own brand on it. Love and trouble enter her life in the person of a Pinkerton detective posing as Jeff Younger, nephew of the infamous Younger brothers. He is dedicated to catching Butch Cassidy and the members of The Wild Bunch. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hear Joni James sing.




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 May 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi amante es un bandido  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First picture in Naturama, Republic's widescreen process. See more »


Featured in That's Action (1977) See more »


The Maverick Queen
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Joni James
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty routine stuff bordering on bad in a few scenes...even with Stanwyck chipping in
27 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Maverick Queen (1956)

Well Barbara Stanwyck made a lot of Westerns in the 1950s, and most of them are routine stuff, and in them she has often limited if still central roles. This is a great example. She's in the film much less than her co-stars, and the story is a patched together set of common problems--the cattle rancher faces trouble from the cattle rustlers and a hero has come to town, and a little love is going to cross the frontier.

The key difference in all these movies is that Stanwyck plays a strong, sometimes very very strong, woman. That alone makes them watchable. But don't expect "The Maverick Queen" to hold up critically or even hold your attention fully. The plot even has so many little confusions, on purpose. you have to pay close attention (and show some patience) to keep in on track.

For one example, without giving too much away, the main man, played well by Barry Sullivan, is new in town, and he says he's Jeff Younger, a famous gunslinger. This suite Stanwyck's character perfectly--she runs the tavern but also the general racketeering schemes for the province. But then another man arrives in town and says he's Jeff Younger. Hmmm. Along the same lines, the pretty young girl in town is another strong woman, clearly a good one, and her sidekick is a lazy loaf but a good guy, until you see him start telling people things he shouldn't. And so on. These are really great plot twists but they aren't handled with total clarity or given the impact you might expect so the movie totters a bit.

The director, it might be noted, is Joseph Kane, who pretty much only did Westerns, over a hundred of them, and he probably didn't distinguish one from another very well. He's not even trying to create a masterpiece on the small budget this small studio gave him. (It's a full color Republic Pictures production, and there are corners cut.)

The one other interesting side note is the presence of Sundance as a major character (and Butch Cassidy as a very minor one). Of course, history is thrown to the wind on what happens to Sundance, so never mind that . (Watch the Newman/Redford one for the classic outline.)

And Stanwyck? She's strong, and I mean physically tough, and she busts out with good acting in a few scenes. But she, too, seems to realize she's doing routine stuff.

A final note--I saw this on TCM, and for the first time in twenty years of watching movies there I saw one that was not shown full screen. Yes. A shame. It's a wide wide screen enterprise and it uses an unusual system called Naturama, and it was the first Republic movie to use it. It was really just a compatible anamorphic widescreen system like Panavision, but for some reason it was cropped (given the awful "pan and scan" treatment) for this release. That didn't help with the fluidity of the filming, or the appreciation of the big landscape of Colorado so proudly announced in the opening credits.

Should you see this? Not really. There are better Stanwyck Westerns, and better Westerns. And better movies.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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