Frenchie Fontaine sells her successful business in New Orleans to come West. Her reason? Find the men who killed her father, Frank Dawson. But she only knows one of the two who did and she's determined to find out the other.
Twenty-five years ago the Lavery baby was kidnapped. Bad guy Leffingwell gets Choya to impersonate the son to gain the Lavery estate. When he finally fesses up to his "sister" Ruth she is furious. To redeem himself he sets out to find the real son.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 28, 1952 with Mona Freeman reprising her film role. See more »
When Alan Ladd's character is washing up (takes his shirt off to reveal the fake birthmark) after riding the unbroken horse, he uses a faucet from a modern pressurized water system rather than a period hand pump. See more »
So what do they call you?
Choya. It is a name I have heard. Not too often. Not with the biggest reputation. Small things with a gun.
Big enough that the Rangers want to do a little hanging.
Me they wish to hang a thousand times.
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While on the dodge from a shooting scrape, gunfighter Alan Ladd meets up with a pair of drifters, Robert Keith and John Berkes. They want him to pose as the long lost son of a prominent Texas rancher Charles Bickford who was kidnapped as a child and never heard from again. John Berkes is a tattoo artist and he gives Alan Ladd a tattoo that looks like a birth mark the child had.
It works all too well as Ladd is welcomed into the home of Bickford and wife Selena Royle. In addition there's a sister in the home played by Mona Freeman and Ladd is not developing brotherly feelings for her.
In the end he can't go through with fleecing these decent people and Ladd sets out to set things right.
Branded was Ladd's second starring western after Whispering Smith and he proved to be equally well received here. The urban Ladd of the films Paramount put him in starting with This Gun for Hire gradually gave way to a western character and he would do more of them of varying quality over the rest of his career. The best of which was that immortal classic Shane.
In one sense though Ladd's character is very much like Raven in This Gun for Hire. Both of them were orphans with great big chips on their shoulders. Imagine Raven a little earlier than when he met up with Veronica Lake and got into the home of a couple like Bickford and Royle and you have a pretty good idea of what Ladd's character Choya is like in Branded.
Acting honors however go to the ever dependable Joseph Calleia as a Mexican bandit chief and to Robert Keith. Keith usually was a good guy in most films, a typical role for him would be the father of the Tuttle girls as he was in Young at Heart. He completely plays against type as a slime ball bottom feeder who turns out to be far more despicable than even we originally think.
Branded is a good western and Alan Ladd and the cast members should be proud of their work in this one.
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