In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Odd 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. Murphy plays Cash, the hotheaded brother who reacts violently to learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid during which Hepburn kills her Kiowa brother, thus choosing sides once and for all. 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 »
In the copyright notice on "The End' screen, the year is given as MCMLVIX (it should be MCMLIX). 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?
See more »
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.
42 of 66 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?