In 1886, the gunman and gambler Tom Early returns to his homeland to settle down, but he is rejected by his community. He rides to his farm, where he finds that his wife Alice has recently died and his son Tom Early Jr., who disagrees with taking up arms, is working alone. The next morning, Tom rides into the town to buy supplies and sees Sam, the grocer, humiliating his employee Jo. At the same time the cattle lord Grimsell arrives in town with two gunfighters, Gunn and Blondie, and tells the Preacher that he will be crossing 20,000 head of cattle through their lands and their town. Although the preacher tries to explain that the people own the land, Grimsell is not interested in their rights. When Blondie sees Tom Early, he draws his gun but is shot by Tom, in self defense, and kills the gunman. He then invites Jo to work on the farm. While the Preacher wants to send an emissary to Laramie to bring the law to his town, Grimsell summons more than thirty gunfighters to work for him. ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sweet Betsy from Pike
Written by John A. Stone
Sung by the preacher at Early's homestead
Also played by a music box See more »
Atypical at Times...Elevated Fifties Western
Above Average 50's Western with a few Edgy Things that Elevate beyond the mundane. Stewart Granger and Rhonda Fleming are Attractive Stars and Competent Actors.
The Film was Shot in Cinemascope that adds to the Wide Open Landscape. The Colorful Setting is used to advantage and the Simple Story is Spiced with some Atypical Shacking Up and Lustful Scenes. That alone is against the grain of most Fifties Fodder and Preaching.
Although, it must be said there is a Heavy Amount of Preaching in the Screenplay. Chill Wills as a Bible Toting Preacher is a Major Character and the Dialog often reverts to Philosophy from the Pulpit. It almost becomes too much but not quite.
The Tension and Action are Amped Up in the Second Half as things become Violent and Explosive. The Solid Direction from Old Pro Rowland keeps things from becoming Clichéd and/or Standard Stuff.
Overall, a Well-Done Entry in the Abundance of 1950's Westerns and is, Unlike the Majority of Output in the Decade, well Worth a Watch.
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