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 ... See full summary »
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Alfred L. Werker
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
Not for the sophisticated, but darn entertaining, by gum!
Watched this on TV a few months ago and was eventually more entertained than I expected to be as the story elements began to fall into place during the first reel or two. The script builds to an exciting and suspenseful climax, one that rivals quite well, indeed, some of today's overwrought nailbiters.
At first I thought Clint Walker and Martha Hyer were an odd pairing as an Old West couple with a family. But Clint, of the awesome physique, was actually quite a winning performer when he had the good fortune to be directed by a good director with, at least, an acceptable script. And Martha, after playing spoiled and elegant socialites and jealous ladies who often didn't get the objects of their dreams in several of her earlier roles, is warm and convincing as a wife in love with her husband and who deeply cares for her children.
With terrifically capable performers like Keenan Wynn, Ellen Corby, and the inimitable Nancy Culp to round out the cast, this one had quite a bit going for it. The Techniscope (the Technicolor Corporation's bargain-basement version of CinemaScope and Panavision) and Technicolor cinematography looks a bit overlit in some of the interior scenes (a common practice back then), and now the 2.35:1 ratio is probably lost forever. (The TV broadcast I saw was, of course, "formatted" and the VHS version is, no doubt panned-and-scanned.)
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