Audie Murphy is again the kid who puts on a badge to catch the bad guy, skillfully played by Barry Sullivan. On the way back to town the two develop a curiously close relationship - ... See full summary »
Western about racial intolerance focuses around Kiowa claim that the Zachary daughter is one of their own, stolen in a raid. The dispute results in other whites turning their backs on the Zacharys when the truth is revealed by Mother. Cash, the hotheaded brother, reacts violently upon learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid. Written by
John Huston saw the film as an opportunity to make a serious comment on race relations, but the company thought anything along those lines should take a back seat to making it a commercial success as action/adventure. Burt Lancaster's biographer Gary Fishgall quotes two of Huston's biographers who assert that Huston did not quit because he needed his $300,000 salary to restore his Irish manor house and saw the location shoot as an opportunity to indulge his passion for pre-Columbian art. See more »
When Rachel goes riding bareback and first sees the old soldier, the cinch holding a saddle on is clearly visible as she sits on the horse talking. See more »
[yelling at a cow eating grass growing on the Zachary family's roof]
Shoo now! Shoo! Ain't you got no better manners than to eat at the top of a house?
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I believe this western to be one of the most overlooked western films of the period. When one looks at the westerns made before 1960 it is difficult to find many that come close to comparing with the realism, adult themes and complex characterisation of this film. I have viewed this film multiple times over a period of years and enjoy it more with each viewing. The movie is brilliantly cast with especially great performances from Charles Bickford (Zeb Rawlins), Joseph Wiseman (Abe Kelsey), Lillian Gish (Mattilda Zachary)and June Walker (Hagar Rawlins). This western has it all; uniformly wonderful performances from the entire cast, excellent dialogue, and a real look and feel of the western frontier. I give this film a 9 out of 10.
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