Starring James Stewart, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell
Strong. Efficient. Suspenseful.
Wanting to begin again in life, Howard Kemp (Stewart) tracks down a wanted fugitive (Ryan) and plans to collect on his bounty. The venture is complicated by two strangers-one a caddish soldier (Meeker) and the other a deceptively meek prospector (Mitchell)-who want a piece of the pie. The three men transport the criminal and his girl (Leigh), while always keeping an eye on each other. The best of what are termed the Anthony Mann psychological westerns, with shades of Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the chief pleasure of the film is its clash of distinct characters. As a Hollywood western of the classic tradition, it’s a little too glossy at times. Still a superb picture. Simple story, complex western.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-