An English woman and her daughter enlist the aid of a cowboy to try and get their hardy hornless bull to mate with the longhorns of Texas, but have to overcome greedy criminals and the natural elements.
When her husband dies en route to America, Martha Price and her daughter Hilary are left to carry out his dream: the introduction of Hereford cattle into the American West. They enlist Sam "Bulldog" Burnett in their efforts to transport their lone bull, a Hereford named Vindicator, to a breeder in Texas, but the trail is fraught with danger, and even Burnett doubts the survival potential of this "rare breed" of cattle.Written by
Greg Helton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the final fight scene between James Stewart and Brian Keith, there is a close shot of the calf watching from underneath the stairs. However, when they cut to the long shot, the calf is no longer there. See more »
What on earth are they doing?
It's called bulldogging, ma'am. That's Bulldog Burnett. He works for my outfit.
Well, it's a perfectly silly way to handle cattle if you ask me.
See more »
Drama/comedy/romance Western with deadly serious moments
RELEASED IN 1966 and directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, "The Rare Breed" chronicles events in St. Louis and Texas in 1884-85 when an English woman (Maureen O'Hara) and her daughter (Juliet Mills) conscript a lanky cattleman (James Stewart) to try and get their hornless British bull to mate with the longhorns of Texas, but they have to deal with venal thugs (Jack Elam), a curmudgeon ranch mogul (Brian Keith) and the harshness of nature itself.
The film meshes drama with lighthearted amusement in the manner of a screwball Disney family comedy, "fun" brawls reminiscent of John Wayne Westerns of that era, dead-serious sequences and romance. I didn't feel this inconsistent tone marred the movie; after all, doesn't real life include all of these things? The exception would be the "fun" brawling scenes which, while lively, are not true to life. In real fights people get broken noses, black eyes, bruises and broken bones. Anyway, the cast is great, but I didn't find the drama that engaging, especially the entire last act. Furthermore, the indoor sets substituting for outdoors are obvious and smack of old-fashioned movies & TV Western fare of the time period.
About a third of the way in there's an exceptional stampede sequence that includes a heart-stopping on-set accident involving the wagon carrying Martha (O'Hara) and Hilary (Mills) ahead of the stampede. The stunt women were supposed to be thrown clear, but the wagon rolled over them. Thankfully, the dipping ground underneath the wagon allowed the stuntwomen, Stephanie Epper and Patty Elder, enough room to survive without being crushed, although they did experience minor wounds and shock. In the same sequence a young man is forced to try to run UP the canyon wall in stark terror as the charging cattle threaten.
THE FILM RUNS 97 minutes and was shot in Jamestown, Mecca, Coachella Valley, Mojave Desert and Universal Studios, California. WRITER: Ric Hardman.
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