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Marshall "Big Jim" Cole turns in his badge and heads to Wyoming with his family in order to settle on some land left him by a relative. He faces opposition both from a neighbor who wants that land for his own sons, and from a grizzly bear nicknamed "Satan" who keeps killing Cole's livestock. Written by
I'm in complete agreement with another reviewer in that this Paramount production might well have been done by the Disney Studio. It certainly has that look and feel about it. But that doesn't mean that The Night of the Grizzly can't be enjoyed by adults as well.
Clint Walker and Martha Hyer are a pair of marrieds with children, one of them being a teenage niece. He's a sheriff who's now retired and they've inherited a ranch from his late brother.
Unfortunately the ranch is also loaded down with a financial obligations they've inherited as well. They have a rapacious neighbor in Keenan Wynn who'd like the property with a pair of lunkhead sons, Ron Ely and Sammy Jackson.
But that's not all facing Clint and Martha. There's a local grizzly named Old Satan who's terrorizing the ranches and farms in the area. He's doing far more damage to them than anything Keenan Wynn and his sons are doing. Actually Wynn for a screen villain is a rather mild one, he much prefers working with finances to get what he wants than any violence.
There's one more in the mix here. Leo Gordon has one of his best screen roles in this film, in fact he steals the film whenever he's on screen. He plays a bounty hunter and former deputy to Walker who served two years in prison due to his killing an innocent man and Walker's testimony of same. He's been hired to kill Old Satan by Wynn, setting the stage for the climax.
The Night of the Grizzly does have some very nice outdoor camera work, no studio shots at all in this one of a dwindling group of B westerns.
It's unfortunate that there is no market for films like The Night of the Grizzly any more.
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