Ben Matthews gives up the flashy life of a riverboat gambler, hoping to settle down in Galena with his girlfriend, luscious entertainer Zoe. But Galena's leading citizen is murdered on the ... See full summary »
Cory, an ambitious Chicago slum kid with a knack for gambling, gets a busboy job at a posh Wisconsin resort...where his real purpose is to gamble with the staff and guests and romance rich ... See full summary »
A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson
It's just after the Civil War and Ben Shelby arrives looking for Johnny Tallon whom he plans to kill. Shelby was the only survivor of a battle due to the cowardice of Tallon. Thinking ... See full summary »
William Shatner plays two roles: cowboy Johnny Moon and his ruthless Indian twin brother, Notah. Notah likes peyote and gets the crazy idea that he's the Comanche messiah sent to lead the ... See full summary »
José Briz Méndez
Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he ... See full summary »
Joseph M. Newman
Ben Matthews gives up the flashy life of a riverboat gambler, hoping to settle down in Galena with his girlfriend, luscious entertainer Zoe. But Galena's leading citizen is murdered on the boat; Ben, on arrival, finds a lynch mob after his neck, and flees. Three years of wandering later, Zoe's letters stop coming and Ben returns to find her and attempt the hopeless task of clearing himself. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Riverboat gambler Ben has to flee town and his girl after he's suspected of killing a leading citizen. Now he's got to clear himself with shaky help from horse thief, Rick Harper.
Going in, I figured the movie would amount to a vehicle for one of Universal's new, young stars, Tony Curtis. Well, the first 20-minutes had me figuring otherwise. First, Curtis's Ben gets caught cheating at cards, then he gets spurned by his girlfriend, and finally does something totally unWesternloses a fist-fight to a bad guy and ends up tossed unceremoniously into the river. By this point, I wondered whether someone in Hollywood had mixed up the reels.
But no, after this unexpected opening the film settles into the more familiar western heroics, with Ben getting his share, plus the girl. However, there are several more offbeat touches in the works, including a lynching where Ben refrains from intervening after calculating the odds. No heroics here. Then too, there's the great actor Arthur Kennedy as Ben's sometimes buddy and full-time horse thief, Harper. Now Kennedy's usual style is to low-key his parts, which he does effectively, e.g. The Man From Laramie (1955). Here, however, he pulls out all the stops with an over-the-top performance that steals many a scene from the more subdued Curtis. I'm surprised the studio didn't intervene, since its Curtis's career that's presumably being advanced.
Anyhow, it's a kind of offbeat western and not just a showcase for pretty boy Curtis. Nothing special, but still more unpredictable than most oaters.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?