This is not one of "the GREAT" Westerns, but it's pretty darned good...above average for that genera in that era.
The biggest positive of this film is its star -- Joel McCrea as the Virginian. I always preferred McCrea in non-Westerns, but he's very good here.
Brian Donlevy is here as the "bad guy" Trampas. Donlevy was an interesting actor. Often the bad guy, but not always. He's quite good here, although it's obvious that he's a B actor.
Sonny Tufts is the Virginian's best friend and competitor in the love department with the new school marm. This characters demise -- hung by his best friend -- is another thing that sets this Western apart from many.
Barbara Britton is "just okay" as the romantic interest here...the new school marm. Not much depth there in regard to acting.
The wonderful Fay Bainter is here as the best friend of the school marm, but she is wasted in her role. The equally wonderful Henry O'Neill plays Bainter's wife...but again, his talents are wasted here.
Long before "I Love Lucy", William Frawley sometimes played in Westerns, and he is along here in a small role.
Incidentally, some sources indicate that Minor Watson has an uncredited role as "the Judge". I am quite sure that is incorrect. Willard Robertson played the role.
Production values here are quite good, and the Technicolor photography taken in California is very nice.
Very good, but not great. Better than the average Western of the era. Worth a watch...at least once.
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