Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
Andre De Toth had the town built in Oregon several months before filming so that the structures would be naturally weathered by rain and snow, not artificially dressed by crewmen. When De Toth learned that the workers had neglected to follow his compass headings for the layouts of the streets, he had them rebuild it. See more »
None of the horses has a winter coat of hair. See more »
I'm through being reasonable. I told Crane what would happen if he strung that wire.
Dan, Starret's Foreman:
Blaise, we've pulled over some hard hills together, and I've rode behind you all the way. But a wire fence is a poor excuse to make a widow out of Crane's wife. What have you been thinking about all winter - Crane's barb wire fence, or Crane's pretty wife, Helen?
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This is an uncommon, stark western starring the versatile Robert Ryan in tough guy mode, as a ruthless cattleman at odds with homesteaders in a tiny, bleak western town. As he is about to settle a feud with a local farmer, Burl Ives and his band of sadistic thugs ride into town and hold the citizens hostage. As Ives tries to keep his men from raping the women, Ryan must find a way to save the town, and redeem himself in the process.
Beautiful outdoor photography and solid acting combine with an unusual story line to make this a very interesting, tense flick. The movie eschews the usual western cliches in favor of maintaining a somber, moral tone. Ives excels as an internally conflicted villain. And Ryan, as always, is the man.
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