Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the ... See full summary »
A poor farmer is obsessed with finding gold on his land supposedly buried by his grandfather. To find it he conveniently moves a marker out of his way that designates the land on which it ... See full summary »
On his way to hire a schoolteacher, a homesteader is left a hundred miles from anywhere when the train he is on is robbed. With him are an attractive dancehall girl and an untrustworthy gambler and he decides to get shelter nearby from outlaw relatives he used to run with. They don't trust him and he loathes them but they decide he can help them with one last bank job. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jean-Luc Godard, a film critic before he became a director, raved about the film saying it was the best film of that year. Because of his recommendation, the film has been reevaluated and is now considered a classic western. See more »
Early in the film, when Beasley, Billie Ellis, and Link Jones are left behind by the train after the robbery attempt, they stand on the railroad tracks debating what to do next. As they do so, the shadow of the boom mic is visible above their own shadows on the ground behind them. See more »
I put a piece of work into you. every last idea that shot through your head was mine. I remember every bloody minute of it.
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Link Jones is on his way to Fort Worth to hire a schoolteacher, having left his wife and children behind, Link appears to be the epitome of the simple honest man. However, the train he is on is robbed by outlaws, thus meaning that Link's past and his dubious family ties are all careering towards a day of reckoning.
This was Anthony Mann's second to last foray into the Western genre, and perhaps his most clinical as regards a structured tale of men as complicated as they are conflicted? I always find with Mann's Westerns that a sense of doom hangs heavy, there are very few directors in Western cinema history who have this knack of filling the viewer with such a pervading feeling of unease. Here we have Gary Cooper as Link, on the surface an amiable man, but the sequence of events see him thrust back into a life he thought had long since gone, the term that a leopard never changes its spots sits rather well, but here we find Mann fleshing out his lead character with an acknowledgement that a former life has passed, with Cooper perfectly transcending this well scripted arc.
What strikes me mainly about this piece is that Mann's characters are not the quintessential good vs bad characters, these are just men with their own individual hang ups, they all are fallible human beings, and that is something that surely we all can identity with? The acting across the board here is top notch, Cooper is excellent, replacing Mann's stock Western muse, James Stewart, he cements his earthy and identifiable worth wholesale. Lee J. Cobb actually is the glue that holds the film together, his portrayal of Dock Tobin perfectly plays alongside Cooper's emotive showing of Link Jones's confliction. Sadly a negative to me is that we are asked to believe that Gary Cooper is Lee J. Cobb's nephew, a difference of ten years has to be a casting error one feels. Still, the film comes highly recommended, because the intelligence and dark atmosphere of the piece makes it well worth emotional investment, whilst Cooper's two main fights (both different) are seriously great cinema. 8.5/10
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