In 1865, three escaped Confederate POWs are coerced into joining an offshoot of Quantrill's raiders who are planning to rob a Union gold shipment concealed in a civilian wagon train going from Santa Fe to St. Louis.
Rip MacCool has learned early in life that "money talks" (and other stuff walks), as does the audience via flashbacks, and when he arrives in San Francisco, he has no qualms about being ... See full summary »
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.
Eastern lawyer Sam Houston moves to Texas. At the request of President Jackson, he leads the Texan independence movement and wins the decisive battle against the Mexican army to gain Texas independence.
Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »
Late in the Civil War, three Confederate soldiers escape from Camp Benton, a Union prison camp in Missouri. They soon fall into the hands of pro-Confederate raiders, who force them to to go to Santa Fe to join a civilian wagon train that will be secretly transporting $1miilion in Union gold to St. Louis, Missouri. The three men are to lead the wagons into a raider trap at Cow Creek in Missouri, but one of them builds friendships with the wagon train travelers and a widow and he continues to have doubts and misgivings..Written by
Confederate prison escapees plan to hi-jack a Union gold shipment and divert it to the South. Priorities, however, are complicated by a key rivalry over a girl and a temptation to just keep the riches for themselves.
Better than average Technicolor western. For once, MGM's tendency to over-produce its horse operas gives way to a wise use of money for a western. Happily, glamour and glitz are kept in check, except for actress Dahl. Still, her wardrobe for a wagon train is not too outlandish. Instead, the production makes excellent use of its scenic Kanab, Utah, locations, along with a fine A-list cast and enough extras to make the battle scenes interesting.
What grabbed me, however, are two storyline surprises that defy expectations. Plus, for once, battles don't just unfold willy-nilly, instead Owen (McCrea) thinks along tactical lines to gain an advantage. Sure, a hi-jacked gold shipment and a rivalry between sometime buddies (McCrea & Sullivan) are familiar plot devices. Nonetheless, it's a better-than-average script, with several good touches (e.g. Sullivan's loaded gun at the end).
That river-crossing scene is clearly the movie's centerpiece and is impressively done. The torrent is big and bad enough to make the fording a genuine nail-biter. I'm guessing those were not easy scenes to film.
Anyway, it's a fine McCrea western even though he gets less focal time than usual.
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