Squeezed between Mexico and the Denbow family lands lies the U.S. government free grazing land but the incoming settlers cannot reach it without trespassing on the Denbow property which is defended by an army of Denbow cowhands.
Frenchie Fontaine sells her successful business in New Orleans to come West. Her reason? Find the men who killed her father, Frank Dawson. But she only knows one of the two who did and she's determined to find out the other.
Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian tribes, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. The only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.
The Denbow family hope to freeze out homesteaders by denying access across their land; but to evade a murder charge, Glenn Denbow marries the only witness, Jane, who's conveniently in love with him, but favors the settlers. When Glenn goes back to his blackmailing old flame Lottie, a warm regard develops between Jane and cousin Kirk Denbow. Things come to a head when an impending range war coincides with a rustling foray.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scott Brady, scion of the local big ranch, shoots Shelley Winters' boyfriend. To avoid her testifying against him, he marries her, but the marriage is unconsummated. Instead, she becomes friendly with his cousin, Joseph Cotten in this visually interesting Universal western.
Director Hugo Fregonese gives cinematographer Charles Boyle his head, with lots o high lights in dark backgrounds. Notice the large number of twilight long shots, and medium grey walls with black shutters, couches and ironmongery. Could the print I looked at be darker than intended? that's always a possibility, of course, but I think the choice was deliberate, to yield a worn parchment look to the movie; even Miss Winters' hair looks more grey than blonde; this makes the white-faced cattle and the occasional splashes of bright color far more dramatic. Long shadows in the brightest-lit scenes give them a "late afternoon" look, as if to indicate the end of the day of ranch's dominance.
While the visuals of the movie make it interesting, and the acting talent is impeccable -- that's Minor Watson as the head of the ranch; if you look hard, you can see Lee van Cleef and Fess Parker (in his first screen appearance) in the cast. Yet this early attempt to make a soap-opera western seems a bit overblown to my B-movie-loving taste.
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