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Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling who has a personal reason for getting him back into his jurisdiction. Both men join Breckenridge and his wife on the drive. As they near Texas tensions mount, not least because Stribling is starting to court Belle and O'Malley is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
An unpretentious Western told in an honest, straightforward manner.
Robert Aldrich does a very controlled job directing a story straddling the Texas Mexico border, a story told at a steady pace but rarely reaching memorable highs. The film has many elements of the classic Western including a chase, cattle drive and gunfight but it also tries to add some melodramatic, pure story based elements - though one major plot point was so well signposted, it might as well have been included in the opening credits.
Kirk Douglas, as Brendan O'Malley, provides the barely controlled dynamism at the centre of the film. Unfortunately, not all parts of the film are to this standard. Rock Hudson has difficulties with the role of the upstanding sheriff. A strong supporting cast, from Joseph Cotton to Jack Elam, provides a wide, interesting range of characters.
Overall, a solid if unspectacular film, recommended for Western and Kirk Douglas fans. 6.75.
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