Reprisal! (1956)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Western

Reprisal! (1956) Poster

Half-breed Frank Madden claims he's White, in order to own land, but violent racial clashes in town force him to abandon his neutrality and chose a side.


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20 October 2011 | dougdoepke
Lots of Plot
Pretty good western if you can get past Guy Madison as part Indian. Hiding his Indian blood so he can own land, Frank Madden (Madison) gets in trouble when one of the vicious Shipley brothers is killed for which he's blamed, and a lynch mob forms.

Actually, there's more plot here than the 70-minute run time can accommodate. Add the two leading lady sub-plots to the Indian sub-plot to the Shipley brothers main plot, and you've got a lot of story complications. The screenplay does a fair job of integrating them, but there's still an overflow.

The real oddity is Michael Pate playing a white guy (Bert Shipley) instead of an Indian in a western where Indians are featured. In fact, he darn near made a career out of playing Native Americans, so I'm wondering if a cast member dropped out at the last minute such that he had to switch roles. Anyway, he nearly steals the film with a lively, colorful performance.

Also, veteran director Sherman manages to inject genuine energy into the several crowd scenes, especially the lynch mob march down the street that had me really worried for the hapless Madden. Then too, the Arizona locations add a scenic touch to a B-western that could have easily cut corners and stayed in LA. All in all, it's a decent, if crowded, little western with some interesting features.

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