19 March 1999 | stryker-5
"You're Carrying Another Man's Brand For The Rest Of Your Life"
A curious little present-day western set in the Huecos Mountains of New Mexico, the film offers action and love interest, and Wilda Lanning (Frances Robinson) gets to faint three times. Wyndham Gittens wrote and directed this melodrama, and Elwood Bredell, his Director of Photography, delivered beautifully sharp black and white images. The sound is also first-class.
Beery carries the film. His 'noble savage' interpretation of Ring is a joy to watch. With simple goodness, Ring faces down the malevolence and duplicity of the city folk, and quite literally makes his mark on Wilda.
If some aspects look glaringly amateurish now (the crude back-projection of the indian dance, the studio-shot inserts of Ring on the bucking bronco, the fight between Ring and Matt Rogan in which nobody lands a punch), it can readily be conceded that, given the conventions of the day, a contemporary audience would not have been troubled in the slightest.
Verdict - An unusual film, crisply photographed and a pleasure to watch.