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Backlash (1956)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Romance, Western | 11 April 1956 (USA)
Jim Slater seeks a survivor of the Apache ambush his father died in.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Frank Gruber (novel), Borden Chase (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Jim Slater
Donna Reed ... Karyl Orton
William Campbell ... Johnny Cool
John McIntire ... Jim Bonniwell
Barton MacLane ... Sgt. George Lake
Harry Morgan ... Tony Welker
Robert J. Wilke ... Jeff Welker
Jack Lambert ... Mike Benton
Roy Roberts ... Maj. Carson
Edward Platt ... Sheriff J.C. Marson (as Edward C. Platt)
Robert Foulk ... Sheriff John F. Olson
Phil Chambers ... Deputy Sheriff Dobbs
Gregg Barton ... Sleepy
Fred Graham ... Ned McCloud
Frank Chase Frank Chase ... Cassidy, Shotgun Rider
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Storyline

Jim Slater's father (whom he never knew) died in the Apache ambush at Gila Valley, and Jim is searching for the one survivor, who supposedly went for help but disappeared with a lot of gold. In the process, he gets several people gunning for him, and he keeps meeting liberated woman Karyl Orton, who may be on a similar mission. Renewed Apache hostilities and an impending range war provide complications. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was The SIXTH MAN The Secret To The Five Empty Graves?...the Answer waited in a woman's lips and watched from the shadows of a frightened town! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Padre contra hijo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,025,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Sturges hired several hundred Papago Native Americans to play Indians in this film. See more »

Goofs

Karyl Orton's underwear is appropriate for the 1950s, but not the nineteenth century See more »

Quotes

Jim Bonniwell: You know, I've never seen it fail. When you take a trigger-happy bunch sitting it out like this, somebody's bound to start fooling with his gun.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Conventional, but sound and nice classic western
9 July 2002 | by pzanardoSee all my reviews

"Backlash" is a conventional 1950s western, but it is sound and nice and has several merits. The director John Sturges (almost) never disappoints you. The entertaining story is a typical one by the great western-writer Borden Chase: plenty of twists of the plot, of surprises, of double-crossing, of complicated kinship relations between the many characters. The finale is rather original. The action scenes are very good: Sturges is a master of that. The cinematography is stunning: it renders with the full force of a glorious technicolor the wonderful beauty of the Arizona landscapes.

The job by the cast is first-rate. Richard Widmark is a great actor in every role: either as the good guy (here), or as the villain (in many other movies). John McIntire is excellent in his trade-mark role of the sneaky outlaw. But I was even more impressed by the depth of Donna Reed's talent. I remembered her as the paradigmatic loving spouse and mother in "It's a wonderful life". Here she's fully convincing in the role of the tough, cynical woman with a turbulent past. Donna seems even more beautiful and appealing in "Backlash" than in the Capra's movie (in fact she's really gorgeous). Is she so good to be able to improve her looks, depending on her role?

Predictably enough, "Backlash" oozes amiable cliches and naive flaws, which, however, almost increase the pleasure of us old western-movies-fans. First: what's the point of the title? No wips are seen along the movie. Widmark wrestles with an Apache sentry for some thirty seconds, without the Apache screaming to give the alarm to his companions. Where does Donna Reed keep the many beautiful dresses she wears? She travels on horse-back... And we have the usual geographical oddities of old classic westerns: the guys just cross a mountain and they pass from Arizona to Texas!

I like "Backlash" and I recommend it: see the movie, relax and have a good time.


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