22 January 2014 | kevinolzak
Joel McCrea and John Carradine
1954's "Stranger on Horseback" was shot in Sedona AZ in the rarely used Ansco color process, rather than the far more popular Cinecolor. Joel McCrea is the star, playing circuit judge Richard Thorne, arriving in a town ruled by the Bannerman clan, investigating a shooting death where no arrests have been made. Trouble begins when Thorne learns that Tom Bannerman (Kevin McCarthy) was the shooter, his father Josiah (John McIntire) unwilling to allow any lawman to bring his offspring to trial. The beautiful Miroslava commands the screen as Amy Lee Bannerman, whose allegiance wavers under the judge's influence. Although a star in Mexico, she was actually Czech-born, a sad suicide only two weeks prior to this film's release. A year away from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," the amiable Kevin McCarthy just isn't the right actor to play a slimy villain (all the bad guys are rather colorless). Legendary scene stealer John Carradine is in typical form, playing the tailor-made role of Colonel Buck Streeter, indeed a trial run for his Cassius Starbuckle in 1962's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," seedy Southern prosecutor aiding the judge while staying close to the Bannermans (he disappears from the film once the cross country journey begins).