Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an ... See full summary »
After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand is raised by the Callum family on their nearby horse ranch. He remains haunted by this childhood trauma in a recurring nightmare of flashing spurs and confinement inside a trap door as his family is slaughtered. Widow Callum does her best to make Jeb feel loved as he is growing up, but the young man stubbornly maintains a sense of his own identity. While he has great affection for his foster-sister Thor, his relationship with her brother Adam is tenuous at best, especially when Jeb blames him for shooting a colt that he was riding. Although Mrs. Callum blames the incident on deer hunters, she is aware that the it was actually the attempted murder of the youngster by her brother-in-law Grant, a shadowy figure who, for vague reasons, is determined to harm Jeb. Jeb loses a coin flip with Adam, and becomes the designated family volunteer to fight in the Spanish-American War. Jeb returns a hero, but does not find happiness. ... Written by
Interesting camera-work is the main attribute of this late 1940s western. It plays and looks more like a film noir than a western, but there is nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed that aspect, especially the film noir-like cinematography. I say the latter because of all the stark black-and-white contrasts, night scenes and facial closeups. At the same time, it reminded me of a John Ford western with the expansive skies and big rock formations.
I can't say the story is anything special. It's almost frustrating, seeing everyone chase after Robert Mitchum even though the man has nothing wrong! Yes, it's a paranoid viewer's delight but it got to be a little much of a downer for me. However, Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson, Dean Jagger and company all acted well, and I appreciated their talents.
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