The Secret of Convict Lake (1951)

Approved   |    |  Western

The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) Poster

In 1871 a convict escapes, with other prisoners, to kill the man that framed him, but has second thoughts after meeting the man's beautiful future wife.


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18 October 2014 | Spondonman
| The Secret Of Convincing Narrative
I first saw this peak time one Saturday night on UK ITV in the '70's and it's always stuck with me. It's a B+ Western with a good story and production, good acting and photography, and the very definition of Simple Yet Effective.

Six convicts on the run from a posse in blizzardy California in 1871, become five and then apparently stumble across a small settlement solely er manned by women. It turns out that their menfolk are away on some premise but on their way back while the good convict handsome Glenn Ford was waiting for one of them to return so he could kill him for revenge. Slimy Zachary Scott played the main bad convict manically convinced there was a fortune to be stolen somewhere. The women were in the main only lonely but the bad men were hogged up and dangerous even when not armed, and confirmed main old dame Ethel Barrymore's concern that they were wild bears and not men. The characters were all strong and strongly delineated, if made today the sex would probably be literally in your face but there'd also be a much greater sublety in everything as films are taken more leisurely nowadays. Everyone followed their correct moral paths right down to the morally ambiguous ending – however I suppose Glenn Ford should really have owned up to save the moral dilemma he put both the townsfolk and the majority of us viewers through who think it a good ending to a good little film.

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