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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE (1956)


Rudolph Mate never found the groove directing that he had as a cinematographer. His best remembered credit as megger is probably DOA., a film better recalled than seen, and this Paramount Western is far from his best. Throaty Anne Baxter is the ambitious vixen w/ a secret past who marries up when she grabs hold of Texas cattle baron Charlton Heston. Tom Tryon plays the bitter one-armed kid brother, but he’s so trim the costume designers can’t effectively hide his left arm without making his jackets look impossibly bulky. It’s just after the Civil War which perhaps explains why everybody has to fight off some corrupt Carpetbagger type. But the only real intrigue isn't in the film itself, but in wondering why Baxter & Heston were forced to make this programmer the same year as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. As the ranch boss, Gilbert Roland & his sons (Robert Blake & Jamie Farr!) hold your attention, but it's hardly enough.

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