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.
Searching for a doctor who can help him get his son to speak again--the boy hadn't uttered a word since he saw his mother die in the fire that burned down the family home--a Confederate veteran finds himself facing a 30-day jail sentence when he's unfairly accused of starting a brawl in a small town. A local woman pays his fine, providing that he works it off on her ranch. He soon finds himself involved in the woman's struggle to keep her ranch from a local landowner who wants it--and whose sons were responsible for the man being framed for the fight.Written by
Production was halted temporarily when director Michael Curtiz had an emergency appendectomy. See more »
I'd like a little respect. I told you before I don't like people I'm talkin' to to walk away from me. Look at me! You look at me when I talk to you.
I'm lookin', but I don't see anything.
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A classic rendering with many interesting ingredients
The boy, David, is the focal point of this movie. The movie had a resounding impact on young boys coming of age in the late 50s and into the 60s. Its powerful impact at the time is what made it a successful movie. The many emotional ups and downs throughout the movie dealt with a wide variety of issues faced by a devoted war veteran father from the south, trying hard to steer away from violence as he travels the Midwest seeking medical resolution to his traumatized son who had been struck by aphasia after witnessing his mother's burning death in a Civil War atrocity . Some of the issues viewers are exposed to include the tragedies during and after the Civil War, the western range wars, the disenfranchisement of the southerners, an evil rancher and his evil sons, a frontier love story, and a son-dog-father saga. The traumatized boy-cum-hero is superbly portrayed by child actor, David Ladd, who becomes the film's hero at the climatic gunfight at the end of the movie, saving his father, reuniting with his dog and regaining his voice. The developing love story between the father portrayed by the ever stoic and stiff Alan Ladd and the widower farmer portrayed by Olivia de Havilland, takes second stage to the tear-jerking scenes superbly portrayed by the boy in two scenes: when he learns that his father had sold his dog, and when he regains his ability to speak at the end of the movie. A well-crafted movie and an outstanding performance by David Ladd who was eleven years old when the film was released.
The theme of the skilled gunfighter trying to lead a gun-free productive civilian life but is thwarted and forced back to his firearm to right an injustice, is a theme that recurs numerous times in western movies. In fact, this theme is quite common in the most successful of westerns including this movie, Shane and High Noon. The overriding message of this genre of movies is: if you are unjustly treated (justice commonly portrayed as inept or corrupt), then you may take up arms and take justice into your own hands, even if it means killing others. The hero and his gun are paramount.
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