In the western frontier town of Cross Creek storekeeper George Temple is a polite and soft spoken man with a secret past.When three bank robbers on the lam stop in town to change horses George Temple's past comes back to haunt him.
A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think again. When one of his hands is murdered he decides to stay and fight, utilising his war experience. Not all is well at Anchor with the owner's wife carrying on with his brother who anyway has a Mexican moll in town.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>, corrected by Michael Morrison
The Violent Men is a good western. Perhaps the story is not an original one -big ranch owner dedicated to run out small competitors out of a valley he needs for his increasing cattle- but the film has many ingredients that raises its level and makes it worth seeing.
The cast is a highlight. There's the reliable Glenn Ford (John Parrish) as a former army officer and now one of the small ranchers, who tries to stay out of troubles until he is pushed to hard. Edward Robinson (Lew Wilkinson) is as good as always as the crippled big man and Barbara Stanwyck (Martha) plays his treacherous wife in one of her usual mean woman roles she deals with easily (others were in "Double Indemnity" and "Blowing Wild). Brian Keith (Cole) does it perfectly as Robinson's gunman brother, an ambitious man trying to take over his brother's big ranch no matter what. Regular 50's westerns villain Richard Jaeckel (Wade Mattlock) is there too and ends as usual (no surprise there). Dianne Foster (Judith Wilkinson) plays Robinson's daughter who does not approve his father, mother and uncle's way of handling things with their neighbors.
Rudolph Mate brings a standard but acceptable direction, perhaps helped by beautiful and wide open scenery and a fine and appropriate music score helps too.
The inevitable final showdown between Ford and Keith is one of the best in western movies. Each man in his own dueling style (notice Ford's shooting with his straight arm and aiming at its target in the military way) settle their differences then and once and for all.
This is for sure one of Glenn Ford's best western appearances, second only to the classic "3:10 to Yuma" he made two years later. It's probably the cast that puts the film as an "A" rate and, as for me, it enters the top 10 list of the genre.
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