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DVD Review: "Hellgate" (1952) Starring Sterling Hayden, Joan Leslie And Ward Bond

By Lee Pfeiffer

Vci Entertainment have released the 1952 B Western Hellgate as a burn-to-order DVD. Viewing it is a worthy experience, as this film is representative of so many fine features that have largely been lost to time. Sterling Hayden plays Gil Hanley, a quiet veterinarian living in post-Civil War Kansas. The place had been terrorized during the war by marauding parties of renegades fighting on both sides. These raiders often killed and tortured indiscriminately (see The Outlaw Josey Wales). With the war over for two years, the U.S. Army is trying to track down these criminals and bring them to justice. Hanley's life changes for the worse when he treats an escaped criminal for injuries without knowing his identity. Circumstantial evidence leads the army to arrest him and, in a kangaroo court held by a military tribunal, he is sentenced to hard labor at Hellgate Prison. The place is appropriately named,

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