(Review originally written at 23 March 2007)

This really isn't the most exciting or original western ever made. It's a fair enough attempt and the frame work for many other later '50's westerns is already slightly present in this movie.

Real problem with the movie is its story, though its concept definitely sounds intriguing and strong on paper, it just doesn't ever become so in the movie. The drama is almost soap-like, with uninteresting affairs and other personal drama's. It's a muddled mess, that above all is uninteresting to watch. Luckily toward the end the movie and its story gets better, when the more soap-like drama makes place for better developed and layered drama. The movie gets more solid and it doesn't allow any of the earlier weaker drama to distract from it. It makes this movie still a decent one to watch, though it's not one that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.

Despite the simple drama, characters and dialog, Burt Lancaster still shines in this movie. He gives away a great performance and also plays a likable main character. Good to see that he also did westerns in his career. The genre fits him well. None of the other characters or actors are really good enough to leave a lasting impression.

It takes awhile for the movie to take pace and from the beginning on it isn't clear were the movie is trying to head to. It takes too long for the movie to take form, which makes the movie drag at points and also make it rather dull, to be frank. Not even some good old fashioned fight sequences can change anything about this.

The settings on the other hand look fine and the nature suits the movie and its atmosphere. The cattle driving sequences are without doubt the best parts of the movie.

Not bad enough to consider it unwatchable but not really good enough to consider it a recommendable movie either.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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