2 August 2004 | AndrePhilidor
Great movie stars, great scenery, satisfying B-movie.
Caught this on TCM late last night. Could not resist watching a film with Glenn Ford, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyyck Barbara is the attractive woman you love to hate and plays it to the hilt. Edward G. Robinson is convincing as always as the villain-in-chief. Glenn Ford always a pleasure to watch. The scene in the saloon where Glenn Ford faces down the murdering henchman, surrounded by his cronies, is just what you want to see a reluctant hero do.
But what caught my attention most was the scenery. I am sure this is one of the 100 or more movies filmed in Lone Pine, California amidst the Alabama Hills* lying just north of town. Rock formations provide the rugged scenery where over 100 cowboy movies have been filmed with every major cowboy movie star. It was the setting for "Bad Day at Black Rock" with Spencer Tracy, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Palance. Films were made here with John Wayne, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, and it was also the setting for, surprisingly, "Gunga Din". With snow-capped Sierra Nevada peaks in the background, I tried but could not possibly identify Mount Whitney, at just under 15,000 feet, the highest point in the lower 48 USA states.
One reviewer above complains about the use of stock footage for the cattle stampede as well as for stampeding the (enemies') horses. I just marvel at the motion picture arts that they could even create such scenes at all. Did they pay some huge rancher to allow a cattle stampede??? That must have run off many pounds of expensive beef. The horse stampede must likewise have been expensive. If these were wild horses filmed at large, they sure did a skillful job intercutting the clips with the ranchers' corrals in the film.
All in all, a standard oater but with great movie stars, scenery and action, I enjoyed watching. I think you will too.
(* Oh, yes. The Alabama Hills. In California? They were named during the Civil War by miners sympathetic to the Confederate cause. If you should drive North on California State 395 en route perhaps to ski at Mammoth Mountain, spend a few minutes to detour through the Alabama Hills. And take your camera! You'll be glad you did. Well worth the time.)