25 February 2020 | ma-cortes
So-so , minor Western with thrills , lots of action , attacks and betrayals
A greedy businessman called Arthur Pickett (Morris Ankrum) is charging outrageous prices to homesteaders who wish to join a wagon train for passage to California while also stealing the Osages' supplies who consequently begining assaulting all passing wagon trains . While a wagonmaster called Tom Clay (Rod Cameron) is organizing a trip , to travel from Missouri to California but the heinous hoodlums are ordered to kill him . Meanwhile, George Keane (Douglas Kennedy) and his henchmen have broken the treaty his predecessor made with the Osage Indians commanded by Osage Chief (Francis McDonald) and Osage Brave (Iron Eyes Cody) to provide trade goods in return for passage across the Native Americans' land. At the end there is a rousing free-for-all climax that leaves the sagebrush carpeted with lots of corpses ,
A rugged B class Western from the unheralded Monogram low-budget stable , set in the time of Gold Rush and in Fort Osage location . It is an action-packed , vivid Western and there's plenty of tough action with Rod Cameron in the lead continuing his image as the quietly spoken but grimly determined man who it's dangerous to double-cross , he puts personality into the headstrong hero . Rod plays a wagon train guide hired for a risked trip who learns of the businessman's duplicity and attempts to set things right before the Indians go on the warpath . And it contains an excellent final climatic fight betwen him and Douglas Kennedy . Stars Rod Cameron , a coping six-footer in the Gary Cooper tradition , as he found a slight hit as a "stand-in" with Paramount Pictures for such stars as Fred MacMurray while managing to find himself sparingly used in other Paramount films. To supplement his income he also played leading man in the studio's screen tests for starlet wanna-bes and his athleticism paid off playing stunt double for such established cowboy icons as Buck Jones . Cameron toiled as a bit player for quite some time and appeared insignificantly in such classics as Christmas in July (1940) and Northwest Mounted Police (1940) , where he fulfilled his early wish by playing a Mountie. Occasionally he would find a noticeable secondary role, in such lesser films as The Monster and the Girl (1941), The Forest Rangers (1942) and as Jesse James in The Remarkable Andrew (1942) .His breakout screen role was as clench-jawed Agent Rex Bennett, out to bring down the foreign enemy and save the world, in the Republic serial cliffhangers G-Men vs. The Black Dragon (1943) and Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1943). From there he was signed by Universal to appear in a flurry of low-budget westerns with Fuzzy Knight as his comic sidekick. Aside from the rough-hewn heroics he was paid to display, he would occasionally show a softer side for the ladies, such as with fellow Canadian Yvonne De Carlo in Salomé, la embrujadora (1945), Frontier gal (1945) and River Lady (1948) .Among Cameron's many dusty showcases (more often than not made at Republic or Universal), Brimstone (1949), Stampede (1949), Dakota Lil (1950) and San Antone (1953) are worth a good look . In the 1950s Cameron found time to settle into a couple of syndicated TV series. Both City Detective (1953) and State Trooper (1956) lasted a couple of seasons. He also guested on the more popular western series, such as Bonanza (1959), Laramie (1959) and The Virginian (1962). And appeared in a couple of low-budget westerns such as Requiem for a gunfighter (1965) and The Bounty Killer (1965), which was noticed more for reuniting sagebrush stars from yesteryear than for its high quality. He also played an aging rodeo star who dies early in the story in the biopic Evel Knievel (1971). When his movie career began to fade in the early 1960s, he went to Spain for a few spaghetti westerns . As Rod even starred European , Spaghetti Westerns such as : Winnetou and Old Firehand or Thunder at the Border , Sendero de odio or Bullet in the Flesh , and Guns don't argue . Rod Cameron is well accompanied by a good cast , giving fortright interpretations , such as as the heroine Jane Nigh as a damsel in distress called Ann Pickett , his father is interpreted by Morris Ankrum as a greedy Missouri merchant overcharges the westbound settlers for goods , Douglas Kennedy as the nasty cutthroat who leads a bunch of bandits robbing supplies , John Ridgely , and Francis McDonanald and Iron Eyes as Indians, and the latter was a secondary actor who played a lot of Indian roles , posing as a native , but being in Italian origin .
It packs colorful cinematography by Harry Neumann in above-par Cinecolor in Monogram usual style . As well as atmospheric and thrilling soundtrack by Marlin Skiles. Being produced in short budget by prolific Walter Mirisch , still living , who financed the successful The Magnificent Seven saga .The motion picture was regular but satisfyingly directed by Leslie Selander . Selander is generally considered to be the most prolific director of feature Westerns of all time, with at least 107 to his credit between 1935 and 1967. He realized his first feature in 1936, a western , genre in which he would not only excel but one where he would spent much of the rest of his career . Although Selander couldn't be deemed an "A"-list director, his movies had a professionalism and a verve that many of those made by his fellow B directors lacked . He also filmed detective thrillers, action/adventure motion pictures and even a horror film or two . He finished a close second with 106 horse operas helmed between 1917 and 1949 , for thirty years . He began with Western starred by Buck Jones and subsequently Hopalong Casssidy series performed by William Boyd . He moved to Republic where directed Rod Cameron in ¨Panhandle¨ and Stampede¨and started his collaboration to Tim Holt in 20 films . After that , he directed his best films as ¨Fort vengeance¨, ¨Arrow in the dust¨, ¨Town Tamer¨ and his final picture shot in Spain ¨Texas Kid¨. Rating 5.5/10. A minor Western with some touches of spectacularity , adding rousing entertainment and showing the West as wild you could wish .