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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
The Man From Colorado [DVD] [2006]
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on 12 September 2017
Excellent film, starring Glenn Ford who always plays a great cowboy! Unusual story too and one I would recommend
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on 1 June 2017
film stalls no and then
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2007
The Man from Colorado was one of those rarities; a Western with something to say.

The story is concerned with Owen Devereaux (Glenn Ford), a small-town lawyer who has joined the Union army in the Civil War and been elected by the men to Colonel. As the war ends, and we join the action, Devereaux has become a man out of control. He is addicted to killing as well as having developed martinet tendencies. The film opens with the slaughter of confederate soldiers trying to surrender, Devereaux ignoring their white flag.

On their return to Colorado, the regiment soldiers are hailed as heroes and Devereaux is invited to be the federal judge, much to the disquiet of William Holden, playing his loyal friend who joined the army with him. Naturally Devereaux turns out to be a hanging judge of the worst possible kind and conflict is inevitable between him, upholding the law, and his former soldiers, many of whom turn to banditry when they are cheated out of their gold claims by stay-at-home businessmen using federal law. The irony is that they have not worked their claim for three years so, by law, the land returns to the federal authorities, but, of course, they've been fighting for the Union for four years, hence the injustice.

This Western works so well because it is not your usual good guy/bad guy shoot 'em up. It was made just after the Second World War, when hundreds of thousands of American men were returning to their homes and trying to integrate. Some of those men felt resentful towards the ones that stayed behind. Some of those men had killed and were lost in psychological confusion. The Man from Colorado spoke directly to those men. Partly it said 'it's okay to be affected by war,' partly - in the Holden character - it showed a way to cope.

The film was made just over 80 years after the end of the Civil War. Those times were still embedded in popular consciousness, and the evocation of ordinary men going to war and finding the world changing was superb.

Director Henry Levin, a former stage actor, draws a powerful performance from Ford as the tortured Devereaux. He is not a 'bad man' he is a sick man. That is recognised in the film, but Holden and 'the doc' have no answers to offer save 'going away.'

Holden is decent, Mr Reasonable, but even he gets to flex his acting muscles a bit when he loses out on the girl to Ford.

The Man from Colorado is mid-century American cinema at its best. In terms of Westerns, it is up there with The Searchers and The Wild Bunch, but in a far more mainstream, middle America setting.

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Having had this film recommended to me, and having read the excellent and informed reviews on this film, I did the decent thing and bought it. I am glad to say that I am in complete agreement with my fellow reviewers. What a pleasant surprise. A western that has not dated in the slightest and packs a strong punch. Looking at the director Henry Levin's films you have to wonder where this one came from. Most are very forgettable affairs, and he was certainly not known for westerns.

It is unusual to see a film of that period deal with the psychological damage that war can inflict on the human mind. The much later film "Regeneration" deals with the same subject in even more depth. In that film it was shell shocked first world war veterans as opposed to American Civil war victims. These are the unseen victims of all wars. An illness that we still fail to understand fully, but an illness that can be just as deadly as any bullet.

I would also agree with the reviewer who believed this was Glenn Ford's best film performance. His role as a Civil war captain with deteriorating mental health problems as a result of his war experiences, certainly demanded more of him than the usual easy going roles he generally undertook. It was a great surprise to me that he could be that good. It should also be said that William Holden was also excellent in one of his earlier roles. The film was long looked upon as an honourable failure, but time can give a different perspective. It is a film that deserves more recognition. Highly recommended.
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on 8 October 2009
If you like Glenn Ford In cowboy films you will like this one as I have been a fan of his since 7 years old some odd 60 years now,
So keep these old films coming as the modern day films have a long way to go to better these.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 May 2011
The end of the Civil War is nigh and one last pocket of Confederate resistance is holed up at Jacob's Gorge. Knowing their time is up they hoist the white flag in surrender. Union Colonel Owen Devereaux sees the white flag but orders the attack anyway. Returning home with his friend and colleague, Capt. Del Stewart, Devereaux grows ever more erratic by the day, his friends, his loves and all who cross him, are sure to pay if they can't rein in his madness.

Starring Glenn Ford as Devereaux and William Holden as Stewart, directed by Henry Levin, The Man from Colorado, from a story by Borden Chase, is an intriguing psychological Western. The story follows the theme of a man ravaged by war and his inability to let go of the anger and mistrust gnawing away at him. Perfectly essayed by Ford as Devereaux {great to see him donning some bad guy boots}, the film is rather grim in context. Light on action {no bad thing here at all} it's with the dialogue driven characters that Levin's film really triumphs. Having both become lawmen, it would have been easy for all to just play out a standard oater as the two friends are driven apart by not only their different levels of sanity {Holden's Stewart is an excellent counter point to Ford's blood thirst}, but also the love of a good woman {Ellen Drew's petite Caroline Emmet}. But Chase's story has other elements to keep it from ever being formulaic. There's a deep political thread involving power and those entrusted with it, while the treatment of returning soldiers is firmly given prominence. Here the "boys" return after 3 years of being knee deep in blood and bone, to find that their claims are no longer valid. Snaffled by a greedy corporate type, thus as the "boys" look to the law for help?.....

As a story I personally found this to be excellent, all I needed to seal the deal was to have some technical aspects to harness it. Thankfully it's joy of joy there as well because the Simi Valley location work is fabulous. I'm not overly familiar with William E. Snyder's cinematography work, but if this is a marker then I'd like to sample more. It's fair to say that even a "c" grade Western can look nice if given a good transfer, but when the Technicolor print is good, you can tell the difference big time, and this piece is first rate. The dusty orange and browns of the scenery fabulously envelopes the blue uniforms, while the green lamps are vivid and shine bright as if extra characters in the piece. Even Ford's greying temples have a classy sheen to them, almost belying his characters anger. All Western fans simply must hone into High Definition TV because although we always knew how fabulous these pictures looked, now it's another dimension of rewards unbound.

As the finale comes in a blaze of fire {hello, hell!}, The Man from Colorado has achieved the two essential Western requirements if it wants to be taken seriously, one is that it looks gorgeous, the other is that it has strong thematics. And then some. 8/10
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on 17 June 2009
This is a Western that scores on all fronts.

The theme, of burning importance of course in 1948, is of soldiers returning from war bearing superficial or deep scars and finding that things on the home front have changed; and the welcome they receive quickly dries up. In this case, individual pre-civil war gold concessions have been gobbled up by corporate interests, and the law, as personified by Glenn Ford's ex-colonel and now disturbed judge, is at best ambivalent and at worst hostile to those seeking redress.

Within the general theme we have the particular case study of the judge, unwisely appointed despite warnings as to his mental state from his faithful adjutant (Wiliam Holden), who has cottoned on early to Ford's sickness. But he declines to act until his hand is forced in a great climax full of visual religious symbolism.

The movie is a cinematic treat. The script is intelligent, the locations a good mix of studio and the great outdoors in the dry brushwood landscapes (Simi Valley, California doubling for Colorado) and all beautifully photographed, with the bonus for this era of glorious Technicolor. The ensemble acting is very strong. Ellen Drew is a first-rate woman oscillating between the two principals, and her looks and costumes are shown to maximum advantage - I could have done with more of her. Glenn Ford and William Holden are excellent; in the former case, the one cavil I have with the film is that Ford's character shows little or no development through its course, and we could have done with a little background to the development of his disturbance - perhaps in an extended flashback scene. Had he had this capacity for change, in the manner of John Wayne's character in The Searchers or Henry Fonda's in The Ox-Bow Incident, it would have taken the picture to another level.

Highly recommended as a thoughtful Western.
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on 3 November 2011
Columbia Pictures presents "THE MAN FROM COLORADO" (1949) ~ (100 min/Color) ~ Starring: Glenn Ford, William Holden, Ellen Drew, Ray Collins, Edgar Buchanan, Jerome Cortland, James Millican, Jim Bannon

Directed by Henry Levin

Two friends, Col. Owen Devereaux & Capt. Del Stewart Glenn Ford, William Holden) return home after their discharge from the army after the Civil War. However, one of them has had deep-rooted psychological damage due to his experiences during the war, and as his behaviour becomes more erratic - and violent - his friend desperately tries to find a way to help him. When Owen is appointed the "hanging" judge of a Colorado town, Del signs on as his deputy. But the final break between the two onetime friends comes when Del casts his lot with a group of disgruntled miners whom Owen has disenfranchised.

Nominated by the Writers Guild of America Best Written American Western

Special footnote: ~ Filming was in Corriganville, Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California and Iverson Ranch - 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California.

1. Henry Levin [Director]
Date of Birth: 5 June 1909 - Trenton, New Jersey
Date of Death: 1 May 1980 - California

2. Glenn Ford (aka: Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford)
Date of Birth: 1 May 1916 - Sainte-Christine, Quebec, Canada
Date of Death: 30 August 2006 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California

3. William Holden [aka: William Franklin Beedle Jr.]
Date of Birth: 17 April 1918 - O'Fallon, Illinois
Date of Death: 16 November 1981 - Santa Monica, California

4. Ellen Drew (aka: Esther Loretta Ray)
Date of Birth: 23 November 1915 - Kansas City, Missouri
Date of Death: 3 December 2003 - Palm Desert, California

5. Ray Collins
Date of Birth: 10 December 1889 - Sacramento, California
Date of Death: 11 July 1965 - Santa Monica, California

6. Edgar Buchanan
Date of Birth: 20 March 1903 - Humansville, Missouri
Date of Death: 4 April 1979 - Palm Desert, California

7. Jerome Courtland
Date of Birth: 27 December 1926 - Knoxville, Tennessee
Date of Death: Unknown

8. James Millican
Date of Birth: 17 February 1910 - Palisades, New Jersey
Date of Death: 24 November 1955 - Los Angeles, California

9. Jim Bannon
Date of birth: 9 April 1911 - Kansas City, Missouri
Date of death:28 July 1984 - Ventura, California

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 100 min on DVD ~ Columbia Pictures ~ (June 8, 2004)
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on 22 August 2009
I did want to name this review as "The Psycho Mr Ford" but dont worry, its just a title and no offence is meant.
This is Glen Ford's best western and his acting talent is brilliant in this one. It is like the modern day saga we often see and hear about, of power, lust, greed and friends in high places yet set in the western tradition.
Ford gets nasty, down and dirty in this one and keeps you at the edge of your seat. This is not syrup, of a Cavalry Officer entering back into civillian life after the war and picking up as a goodi goodi helping his fellow man to rebuild what has been caused by the carnage.
It is a tense and gripping story of the madness caused by war in the mind of a man, madness that causes more pain, suffering and misery but which is justified in the twisted mind of the inflector as he goes about his business, (with a little help from his friends), of course.
Add this one to your collection, even if you are not a fan of westerns. Great story and good acting, what more?, oh its that nice man who acted in Cade's County as you've never seen him before. W.I.C.K.E.D.....and poor Mr W.Holden who had his work cut out keeping one step ahead of him.
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on 27 May 2011
From the opening scenes of this film the viewer knows Glenn Ford is crazy. The viewer must watch as the characters around him begin to realise just how crazy he's going to become. This is a big problem as he has been appointed the judge of a town and holds the power of life and death in his hands.
This film has a big cast that come in and out of the movie, often in unexpected ways. The various characters motivations for their actions are believable. The line between being a criminal or not is blurred in this film as you see men who want to live a good life become desperate. On the other side you see Ford as the Judge, powerful and in authority yet often morally wrong and as seen in the opening a murderer of a hundred men holding a white flag and one survivor of that encounter later on. William Holden is a man caught in the middle that ultimately must do what is right.
The film looks a little more dated than some other films of this age but the plot, acting and large cast make this a top and original Western.
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