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Rancho Notorious (1952)

Approved | | Western | 12 May 1952 (UK)
After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (screenplay), Silvia Richards (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlene Dietrich ... Altar Keane
Arthur Kennedy ... Vern Haskell
Mel Ferrer ... Frenchy Fairmont
Gloria Henry ... Beth Forbes
William Frawley ... Baldy Gunder
Lisa Ferraday ... Maxine
John Raven John Raven ... Chuck-a-Luck Dealer
Jack Elam ... Mort Geary
George Reeves ... Wilson
Frank Ferguson ... Preacher
Francis McDonald ... Harbin
Dan Seymour ... Comanche Paul
John Kellogg ... Jeff Factor
Rodd Redwing ... Rio (as Rodric Redwing)
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Storyline

A western based on the story "Gunsight Whitman" by Silvia Richards. Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé's death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge leads him to Chuck-a-luck, Altar Keane's ranch set up to hide criminals, and he finds more than he bargains for. Written by Andre'a M. Thompson <athompso@ziggy.st.hmc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She runs the West's strangest hideout... a ranch where a guest can hide his crime... quench his thirst... betray a woman... and knife a man in the back... for a price! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 May 1952 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Chuck-a-Luck See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Cinematographer Hal Mohr, who had previously photographed Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again (1939), attempted to resign from the film due to Dietrich's insistence that he use lighting to make her look much younger than she was, and Mohr didn't think it was possible to make her look as young as she wanted him to. See more »

Goofs

Ken Darby is given screen credit for the music and lyrics to "Gypsy Davey". In reality, "Gypsy Davey" is a folk song from the Scottish/Irish tradition that dates back to the 18th century. See more »

Quotes

Altar Keane: Go away and come back ten years ago.
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Connections

Referenced in Les cinéphiles - Le retour de Jean (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Gypsy Davey
Music and Lyrics by Ken Darby
See more »

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User Reviews

Atmospheric Western Noir
13 December 1998 | by Dr ZaiusSee all my reviews

"Rancho Notorious" is a beautifully atmospheric and suspenseful film. Best known for his expressionist black & white suspense thrillers, director Fritz Lang brings the same qualities to this Technicolor western.

Although she must have been in her fifties when the film was made, Dietrich looks absolutely gorgeous. She also seems to be having lots of fun with the part, in a sense reprising her character from "Destry Rides Again." It's never explained how this woman with the strange German accent ended up in the Wild West, and we don't really care. By the way, Dietrich's performance in these two films was the basis for Madeline Kahn's great parody in "Blazing Saddles."

The one thing that really stands out in my mind about this film is how effectively the suspense builds. The tension leading up to Vern's discovery of the killer's identity is almost unbearable, and Lang makes us wait until the film's last five minutes for the inevitable score-settling gunfight.

In a period of film history when westerns were a dime a dozen, this one really stands out as a true classic.


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