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The naive cowboy Tod Lohman accidentally kills the son of the powerful land baron Hunter Boyd. Tod runs for his life, pursued by the dead man's vengeful brothers. Tod shelters on the ranch of Amos Bradley and he falls in love with his daughter Juanita. However, Tod is concerned that he'll eventually have to leave when his pursuers catch up with him. Written by
According to myth, Dennis Hopper required 85 retakes for one scene, causing director Henry Hathaway to yell at him, "You'll never work in this town again!" and that it was ten years before Hopper obtained another major role. Don Murray recently confirmed that this never occurred, and in fact, Hopper worked steadily through the 1960s, including twice more with Hathaway: "The Sons of Katie Elder" in 1965 and "True Grit" in 1969. See more »
Although the story takes place in the Old West of the 19th Century, Diane Varsi sports an up-to-the-minute 1958 D.A. hairstyle. See more »
Just let me take care of myself because I don't want anybody mixing into my trouble.
Looks like I might be mixed in anyway.
See more »
Tod Lohman is mistakenly believed to have caused the death of a member of the feared Boyd family. He's an honest cowboy but is fully aware that tough guys shoot first and ask questions later. With this in mind he flees southwards in the hope of saving his skin. On his travels he meets and befriends Amos Bradley and his adopted daughter, Juanita, it's a meeting that holds the key to Tod's future.
Henry Hathaway directs this one, and the first thing that sticks out is just how interesting his characters are, this is not just a throwaway Western, it has depth of feeling and lays out a story that isn't purely relying on action to entertain the viewers. That said, Hathaway doesn't skimp on the action scenes, an excellent beef stampede and an Indian pursuit, resplendent with horse jumping heroics, deliver promptly for the discerning action viewer. Based around the novel from Charles O. Locke called The Hell Bent Kid, this adaptation is adroitly telling the story of an honest and naive young man on the lam, it's the naivety of Lohman that gives the picture its emotional heart, all framed excellently by Hathaway in the Alabama Hills vista.
The cast are across the board solid, Don Murray, Chill Wills, Diane Varsi, R.G. Armstrong and a fresh faced Dennis Hopper all earn their respective pay cheques. It's understandably not up to the high standard of Hathaway's big hitters like True Grit and The Sons Of Katie Elder, it is however a picture that is definitely worth checking out if you are given the opportunity. 7/10
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