8 November 2005 | bkoganbing
A Private Scheme
An unusual alliance is operating in the film Cattle Queen of Montana. Cattle baron Gene Evans and dissident Blackfoot chieftain Anthony Caruso have an arrangement of convenience. Evans provides whiskey and arms and in return Caruso makes sure the braves under his command raid and kill any settlers who come into the Montana valley that Evans wants to keep all to himself.
Of course they pick on the wrong party when they attack Barbara Stanwyck's party. She and father Morris Ankrum have staked a claim on a piece of the valley. Her father is killed, but Stanwyck survives and his taken to the camp of Lance Fuller, Caruso's rival in the Blackfeet nation.
So we have some unusual white/Indian alliances forming here and lurking through it all is a mysterious stranger played by Ronald Reagan who is not quite what he seems to be at all.
It's a good, but routine western, helped considerably by good location photography and crisp direction by Allan Dwan. Stanwyck looks very much like she's in preparation for her role as Victoria Barkley in The Big Valley. And Ronald Reagan who while he doesn't do mysterious real well, does look right at home on the range.