Steve Sinclair is a world-weary former gunslinger, now living as a peaceful rancher. Things go wrong when his wild younger brother Tony arrives on the scene with his new gun and pending bride and former saloon girl Joan Blake.
Granted a small plot of land in a lush valley and a start of cattle by the generous landowner and cattle baron, Dennis Deneen, the once-feared gunslinger, Steve Sinclair, has renounced violence, intent on keeping the peace in the community. However, the sudden arrival of Steve's much younger brother, Tony, and his saloon singer fiancée, Joan Blake, will pave the way for a bitter rivalry between siblings, as the volatile young gunfighter craves to prove his mettle. More and more, Tony's tricked-out custom six-shooter demands blood. Is Tony destined to be the lord of the rich valley?Written by
A first score was written and recorded by Jeff Alexander but had to be replaced due to extensive re-cutting. See more »
The union "squatter" Ellison is holding a shotgun in all the scenes including when he is shot. After his death, Deneen picks up the gun and it is now a Winchester that he levers a shell into. See more »
I tried to bend that kid a certain way. I tried to shape him. He was some kind of tough leather that I had to make soft. But he didn't soften any. He wasn't made that way. He was just rotten leather and he came up hard.
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Saddle the Wind is the result of a creative conflict between golden era Hollywood and the cool method acting world of New York in the late 1950's. Both the writer, Rod Serling (of Twilight Zone fame) and John Cassavetes represented the new, "cool" world of New York. Robert Taylor, holder of the record for the longest employment by one studio) represented Hollywood with a capital "H." The director, Robert Parrish, was more on the New York wavelength.
From what I've read, Cassavetes tried to antagonize Taylor with his difficult behavior and, when he failed, got even more outrageous. The New York crew regarded Taylor as incredibly "square." The result of all this is a fascinating conflict of styles. Taylor prided himself on not "mugging" and here his reserved style worked well as Cassavetes' older brother, a retired gunman. The pain of a man watching someone he brought up as son, not a younger brother, turn into an unstable, erratic killer is evident on Taylor's craggy face. The younger brother is in constant motion--he seems to mistake activity for accomplishment.
Through a number of plot twists including disputed land ownership, romance (with Julie London) and brother-to-brother conflict, the film moves quickly and stylishly towards its inevitable end. The photography is excellent, making the best of the glorious scenery. Julie London is underused but does what she can.
In the end, New York and Hollywood work well together to make a highly watchable film. Review by me for the IMDb.
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