8/10
decent western in the classic sense of the word
6 March 2005
Once in a while Turner Classic Movies will air a movie that most people aren't familiar with. Such was the case with "Slaughter Trail." Good on-location photography, a fast-moving script, characters worth caring about, and a look at life in the wild west all make the grade. Add an interesting color palate-- Cinecolor-- with its subtle tones, light-years from Technicolor, and you've got an sense of open-air realism to it all. The use of the narrative ballad, a la "High Noon", makes it well worth a look. TCM's Robert Osborne said that Brian Donlevy's part was initially filmed with Howard da Silva in the role, but da Silva got caught up in the Hollywood Blacklist and producer Howard Hughes, being the staunch anti-Communist he was, re-shot all of da Silva's scenes with Donlevy prior to its release. Interesting tidbit, not at all visible in the final product.
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