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Ned Bannon comes across rustlers and is shot and left for dead, but is found in time by a wagon train heading for California. When he recovers he becomes suspicious of the two outsiders who are leading the train into a dead-end valley owned by his hostile half-brother. Braving his relative's animosity going back to the Civil War, Bannon makes contact to try and avoid a showdown. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
During the fight that ensues in the corral at Bannon's and Bishop's first confrontation, Bannon hits Bishop into a hitching rail which breaks off. The end of one post is seen to be cleanly sawed off instead of splintered and broken off. See more »
Routine plot-efficient in execution, but beware of pan and scan monstrosity.
The Tall Stranger is directed by Thomas Carr and written for the screen by Christopher Knopf from a story by Louis L'Amour. It stars Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Michael Ansara, George Neise, Whit Bissell, Adam Kennedy, Barry Kelley and Leo Gordon. A CinemaScope/De Luxe color production, film is filmed on location at two ranches in California, Morrison and Russell, with Wilfred M. Cline the cinematographer. Hans J. Salter scores the music. Plot sees McCrea as Ned Bannon, who has a run in with rustlers and left for dead. Luckily he is found in time by a wagon train heading for California. Nursed back to health, Ned becomes suspicious of two outsiders who are leading the group into a dead-end valley owned by his hostile half-brother. Ned must overcome family hostility to try and avert a range war from occurring.
Solid mid 50's Oater boosted by the reliable McCrea and some dark shades within the writing. Running at just over 80 minutes, picture condenses enough old time punch ups and shootings into the story to stop the routine nature of the plotting dragging the pace down. There's even some messages in here to show the writers wanted something more than just a yeehaw production. Sadly the film is badly let down by the pan and scan process and the lifeless colour. There are very few reviews of the film about, but nobody makes mention of the bad print of the film? Certainly the current print doing the rounds for British TV is so bad it takes much away from the film. Cline's (The Last Wagon/The Indian Fighter) location photography is barely seen-is this really in CinemaScope?-and periphery characters are heard but chopped in half! Even the normally radiant Mayo looks washed out due to the tired looking De Luxe color. There's a half decent film in the mix, but even with the best of home cinema set ups to play with, it's nigh on impossible to fully immerse one self in the movie. 6/10
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