Garden of Evil (1954)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


Garden of Evil (1954) Poster

A trio of American adventurers marooned in rural Mexico are recruited by a beautiful woman to rescue her husband trapped in a cave in Apache territory.

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6.8/10
2,657

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  • Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark in Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Gary Cooper and Susan Hayward in Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Susan Hayward and Hugh Marlowe in Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Gary Cooper and Susan Hayward in Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Rita Moreno and Víctor Manuel Mendoza in Garden of Evil (1954)
  • Garden of Evil (1954)

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24 June 2002 | Nazi_Fighter_David
8
| A well-done character piece, concentrating on the evil influence of gold..
While Cooper's career spanned ninety-two feature films, in which he appeared as everything from a masked Cossack to an Italian Renaissance explorer, a foreign legionnaire, a baseball great and countless sophisticated romantic adventurers, he is best remembered as a Western star...

'Garden of Evil' tells the story of three American adventurers (Cooper, Widmark, and Mitchell) who are stranded in a Mexican fishing village after the ship that was taking them to California is put out of commission...

All three were headed for the Californian gold rush... Instead, they are now in Puerto Miguel, approached by a woman in trouble, a Spanish-speaking American woman, Leah Fuller (Susan Hayward), who offers to pay them handsomely if they escort her through hazardous Indian territory to rescue her husband who is hurt and trapped in a gold mine up there in the hills...

The mention of gold makes them agree and, together with a Mexican macho man named Vicente (Victor Manuel Mendoza), begin their long, arduous journey...

Emotions become tense when Leah discovers Vicente marking trails and, later, finds herself fighting off the crude advances of one of the three soldiers of fortune...

When the group arrives at what the Indians call the Garden of Evil, a sacred grounds atop a high mountain where the mine is located, they found Fuller (Hugh Marlowe) still alive, but embittered and with a broken leg...

The group's troubles grow when they discover they are in danger, practically harassed by savage Indians...

"Garden of Evil" was Cooper first motion picture in CinemaScope... Along the way, he proves himself a powerful leader with a commanding performance...

Susan Hayward kept her thoughts and her affections pretty much of a secret, remaining skeptical about her motives... This was her second movie with Gary Cooper since her appearance in William A. Wellman's superb, high adventure 'Beau Geste,' and her third with director Hathaway...

Richard Widmark proceeds his ways of gambling with a neat line in cynical cracks; Cameron Mitchell fails in his unwelcome sexual advances; Hugh Marlowe uses a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with his angry feelings; Victor Manuel Mendoza gets intensely angry after being hit; and Rita Moreno delights the environment with her sweet voice...

Hathaway was one of the great Hollywood veterans still in harness, a versatile director whose Westerns have been as variable in quality as his other films... Filmed on location in Mexico, his 'Garden of Evil' is a beautiful spectacle to behold... The vistas are strikingly clear and vivid... The film is a well-done character piece, concentrating on the relationships of the characters as on the evil influence of gold...

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