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  • In The Redhead And The Cowboy Glenn Ford plays his usual amiable cowpoke who gets himself innocently caught up in a deadly Civil War espionage game. It all starts when he gets himself involved doing a little celebrating with saloon girl Rhonda Fleming who was certainly Paramount's favorite redhead back in the day.

    In this film however Fleming is a Confederate spy and while she's entertaining Ford as part of her cover one of her fellow spies shows up with a knife in his back and a few last words about a message to be delivered. Sheriff Morris Ankrum is about to arrest Ford for a murder because Fleming fled the scene delivering whatever message she has to.

    Along the way these two pick up Edmond O'Brien who is clearly not the cattle buyer he says he is. But just who is he working for?

    This Paramout film moves nicely along and it has it's noir type aspects as poor Ford is trying to figure who is playing on what team. All three of the stars are out played in this film however by Alan Reed who is Quantrill type guerrilla leader Lamartine. Reed until he became the voice of Fred Flintstone probably has his best visible role with Lamartine. He gets a chance to play it broadly and expansively and even chew a bit of scenery and the diet is good.

    Fans of the stars will like The Redhead And The Cowboy and everyone will just love Alan Reed in his role.
  • Glenn Ford is a living legend who seemed born to the saddle. On display in this film (once again) is his strong, yet amiable cowboy screen persona. Rhonda Fleming is well cast here and the storyline is interesting but not overly complicated. Pacing and script development are well done.

    While this is not Ford's best western, it does show why he was so successful in the saddle. He presents a strong presence in the film, without taking himself too seriously.

    It was great to see Alan Reed as the Condererate Colonel. ( Reed was the longtime voice of Fred Flintstone !!)
  • tedg16 January 2010
    Gosh. I don't have the energy to chart the history of the western. But this fits into an interesting pocket. Many westerns — including ones celebrated at the time — seem mighty dreary to me. But this one moves along.

    It is basically a chase, a sort of detective story. It features a cowboy in noir mode with the redheaded saloon gal in her noir role, superimposed on her western role.

    Nearly everyone we see is pretending to be something they are not and several key reversals happen. Of course our noir everyman, played by Ford, is pure and open. Dogs and little girls sense this.

    It is in black and white, shot in Utah following the pattern. It has Indians, renegade soldiers, a stupid sheriff, a big finale complete with jumping into a runaway wagon. Until then, we have noir, but it switches to a western ending. Honest cowpoke, gets feisty redhead.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Alan Reed was a popular character actor before he became the voice actor for Fred Flintstone in the early 1960s. However, rarely were his parts that big. In this case, however, he has a big part--playing a nasty heavy. And, because his voice is so similar to Fred's, it comes off almost like Flintstone himself is the baddie--a very surreal experience, indeed! The film begins in a crappy little western town near the end of the Civil War. One guy (Glenn Ford) gets pulled, unwillingly, into the middle of some sort of spy game. The pretty lady (Rhonda Fleming) is a Southern spy on a mission. The new 'friend' (Edmund O'Brien) isn't clear WHO he's working for--and whether or not he can be trusted. Eventually, these three meet up with Fred Flintstone and learn that he has a VERY interesting agenda--to make himself rich at the expense of everyone. What, exactly, does this mean? See the film and learn for yourself.

    The topic of the Civil War, particularly spies out West, is a VERY familiar topic in westerns. This one is not exactly like most of the rest--and that is a plus. It has a few twists I didn't expect--or at least enough to keep it interesting. On the negative side, aside from being a bit familiar, the film has some really bad rear projection towards the very end--with Ford and others clearly on fake horses in the studio. All in all, worth seeing but not a must-see, that's for sure.
  • telegonus30 December 2018
    For a modest western, The Redhead & The Cowboy manages to rise above its station (so to speak) and become something much better : part character study (and an excellent one at that), part mystery, it's maybe a bit too densely plotted for the kind of film it is, and yet it rises above its slightly sluggish pace, especially early on, and once its story gains a head of steam one wants very much to know what the late radio commentator Paul Harvey used to call "the rest of the story", which is to say the payoff.

    Set in the Far West during the American Civil War, the film's story is indeed connected to that bloody conflict, mostly tangentially or inferentially; and yet it's there all the same, and all the time. One can never forget that there's a war "back east"; and the loyalties of the sympathies of many of the characters in the movie factor in its final outcome. Yet's easy for the viewer to forget such issues, and what drives the film. Gold figures into the narrative, as does, more prominently the guilt or innocence of its main character, well played by Glenn Ford.

    As its story develops, the film begins to feel more like a western as it moves forward; as bit by bit there are more action scenes, more vistas; and also more twists and turns in the story itself. By its (roughly speaking) third and final act, while there are still unanswered questions, and some uncertainty as to who the good guy really is,--though casting helps in this--the movie is clearly heading toward what's starting to feel like a slam-bang ending. Western fans should be satisfied by the way the movie ends, even as the resolution is, alas, bittersweet.

    Solid work all-round from director Leslie Fenton and such gifted players as not only Glenn Ford, Rhonda Fleming, Morris Ankrum, Alan Reed and, in a pivotal role, Edmond O'Brien, who's first rate and manages to stay very much in character for the entire length of the film. For me, his playing is smooth and low key for the kind of actor O'Brien was; and he gives the best and most memorable performance in the film.