Rancho Notorious (1952)

Approved   |    |  Western


Rancho Notorious (1952) Poster

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.


7/10
3,761

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User Reviews


15 September 2005 | Marlburian
8
| enjoyable and well-paced unconventional western
I'm not a Marlene Dietrich fan and don't really see Arthur Kennedy as being charismatic enough to interest her, and am not usually keen on background ballads, but I enjoyed this film from beginning to end.

Director Fritz Lang keeps the pace lively and brightens up the generally sombre mood with a couple of light-hearted sequences - first the "horse-race" with saloon girls riding cowboys and then the crooked politicians awaiting their fate in gaol.

"Variety" Film Guide calls the plot "corny", but it's no more so than many other films of the 1950s, or indeed of any other decade, and it's different to most Westerns of the period. And for those times it's also relatively direct in its treatment of sex; we are left in no doubt that Kennedy's fiancée has been raped and that the man Kennedy suspects of the assault is obviously out for what he can get from women.

One is not told how Kennedy acquires his gun-fighting skills - at the beginning a posse member points out his lack of these. The only weakness are a couple of "outdoor" scenes obviously filmed in the studio, where the rock formations are eye-catchingly unrealistic.

The acting is generally good, with Kennedy doing well as the grief- stricken hero seeking revenge and Mel Ferrer showing screen-presence as the slightly sinister and somewhat sensitive fast gun.

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