29 September 2006 | Marlburian
So-so TV western, worth one viewing
I spotted this film in a very brief listing of the day's TV, which gave only George C Scott's name. It turned out that he was a "special guest star" with not so many lines as several other actors, but his was the most dominant screen presence.
The whole film turned out to be a reasonable way of filling in 90 minutes after a hard day in the garden, but I wouldn't want to watch it again. I groaned a little when the cute kid complete with piglet appeared, but he turned out not to be too much of a pain. I did wonder why the bad guys, having burned one of the Pride family's wagons and giving them until next morning to clear out, then allowed them to stay long enough to build a sod hut - which seemed to go up very quickly, given the lack of labour! What jarred the most was the instant attraction between Barry Sullivan (in his late 50s) and Kathryn Hays (looking far younger than her mid-30s. Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and Cary Grant could get away with such an age difference, but not Sullivan, who looked his age in some of the close-ups. And he may have been wearing a toupee, but he needed a lot of work on his teeth! In contrast Kathryn Hays looked pretty good, especially when she was responding to Sullivan's romancing.
Quite why the township was called Lawrence I don't know; the real Lawrence was the victim of a ferocious attack by Quantrill's Raiders, whereas in the film the bad guys seemed only to want to put out of business a critical newspaper and were under orders not to kill anyone.