5.8/10
367
15 user 5 critic

The Sundowners (1950)

Approved | | Western | 2 February 1950 (USA)
Brother is pitted against brother in this tale of fueding ranchers in the old west.

Director:

George Templeton

Writers:

Alan Le May (as Alan LeMay), Alan Le May (story serialized by Collier's as "Thunder in the Dust") (as Alan LeMay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Preston ... James Cloud - aka Kid Wichita
Robert Sterling ... Tom Cloud
Chill Wills ... Sam Beers
Cathy Downs ... Kathleen Boyce
John Litel ... John Gall
Jack Elam ... Earl Boyce
Don Haggerty ... Sheriff Elmer Gall
Stanley Price ... Steve Fletcher
Clem Fuller ... Turkey
Frank Cordell Frank Cordell ... Jim Strake
Dave Kashner ... Gill Bassen - aka The Whip
John Drew Barrymore ... Jeff Cloud - The Younger Brother (as John Barrymore Jr.)
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Storyline

A story of a range-war in the Texas Panhandle in which the 'bad' brother villain fights for what is right...and commits murder in its name, and the 'good' brother hero sanctions wholesale cattle rusting and, reluctantly in the end, comes to the realization that maybe he isn't doing the right thing. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a target for every man's bullet ... and every woman's kiss !

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thunder in the Dust See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was financed by N. Peter Rathvon's Motion Picture Capital Corporation. See more »

Quotes

James Cloud: Well come on Boyce, Did I kill Kid Amador or not?
Earl Boyce: Why?... Can't you remember?
James Cloud: It escapes me.
See more »

Soundtracks

O'Riley
Written by Alberto Colombo
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User Reviews

Choppy, but Good to Look At
9 August 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Plot-- Mysterious Kid Wichita arrives to help two brothers Tom and Jeff defend their ranch from cattle rustlers. Trouble is the Kid creates more problems than he solves. So why does straight arrow Tom put up with him.

Anyone doubting that Texas has a scenic part needs to see this Western. The Palo Dura Canyon in the Texas panhandle looks like a smaller version of the Grand Canyon of Arizona and makes an eye-catching backdrop. In fact, the movie skillfully weaves the action into the red rock slabs, especially the big shoot-out, bull whip and all.

There're a lot of cross currents to the plot, making the story sometimes difficult to follow, but the central characters—Preston and Sterling—remain clearly drawn. The script only fills in important information in dribs and drabs, which means we have to keep up with why some people are doing what they do as best we can. Thus some patience is needed, but I think it does pay off.

Preston is obviously enjoying his charming bad-guy role, playing it for all it's worth. His Kid Wichita may be one of the biggest, most booming, personalities in Western annals and probably the only singing villain. Wisely, his opposite number, Sterling, underplays his part as Tom, the reluctant good guy. This makes for a good dramatic contrast and helps build tension for the inevitable showdown. Apparently, Jack Elam helped get financing for the film (IMDB) and so got his first acting part. He sounds a little shaky, but then his cuckolded husband, Earl, is supposed to be. And, of course, there's Chill Wills lending his reliable "aw- shucks" brand of character color.

Anyway, there's a lot of entertainment in both the scenery and the characters, making this a generally under-rated little Western.


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