President Chester Alan Arthur really did visit Wyoming territory while he was in the White House
Cattle King was the last film that Robert Taylor made under the MGM banner. He set a record unlikely to be broken of having the longest studio contract in the history of film. When he left MGM officially in 1959 he had an option for two more films. Cattle King was the last of those films.
This was hardly the grand send off MGM gave him, but it's an entertaining B western. It played the bottom half of double features in 1963. Taylor had been off the screen for three years doing his The Detectives Television series. He no longer had the box office clout he once had.
The plot involves Taylor, a Wyoming cattle rancher pitted against a big time operator played by Robert Middleton who wants to have a National Cattle Trail which means unfenced open country. Middleton wants to bring cattle from Texas, more than the range will support, make a quick profit and leave. Plot is very similar to Kirk Douglas's Man Without a Star. Middleton's hired a gunman played by Richard Devon.
Middleton is also using William Windom against Taylor. Taylor is wooing Windom's sister played by Joan Caulfield.
What makes this western a bit unusual is that in addition to settling things in the traditional western way, Taylor and Middleton are busy lobbying the President of the United States who's in Wyoming for a visit.
In fact that part of the story is true. President Chester A. Arthur made a publicized trip to the Yellowstone National Park, the first visit by a sitting president to the western territories. Probably the only time Chet Arthur was ever portrayed on screen and here he's played by Larry Gates.
The cast is made up of people who've done westerns before and a veteran director in Tay Garnett. He got the film done on location in less than two weeks. Good if you have seasoned players who know exactly what to do.
I would also point out that Robert Loggia played Taylor's Mexican ranch hand and turned in a memorable performance right at the start of his distinguished career.
Nice B western with a plot centered around a little known true story of the west.
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