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Thursday, June 16, 2011


This well-handled Western, a TechniColor splurge from Columbia Pictures & helmer Charles Vidor, holds up pretty well. Randolph Scott is the straight-shooting sheriff who’s on the hunt for some bank robbers who found an empty safe but still killed three locals on their way out of town. Meantime, Scott's old riding pal Glenn Ford shows up out of the blue. Seems he was supposed to join the robbers, but got in too late. Now, this stranger in town makes a mighty convenient scapegoat for a crime he had nothing to do with. Why, the only thing he’s been stealing is Scott’s pretty girlfriend Evelyn Keyes! Naturally, there’s a naughty saloon keeper (Claire Trevor with feathers in her hair); a comic sidekick (Guinn ‘ Big Boy’ Williams); a couple of two-timing bankers & post-masters; plus a swell horse stampede for a hair-raising finale. Standard stuff, but a couple of notches above the norm, and with lots of nifty frames-within-frames compositions from Vidor; comic business that comes where you don’t expect it; and dandy riding scenes in handsome locations. Only the third-rate background score keeps this one from getting Recommended.

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