Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Limps along at a chug-a-chug pace with nary a toot. No subtitles, either.
on 4 April 2013
This 1955 film adopted today's exortations to conserve energy and use as little as possible, which is how everybody interprets their roles in this film, including Mitchum's horse. Mitchum rides into town at 2 kph on a spiritless nag with huge, wide haunches and sunk deep as a sofa. He stays out of the saddle after that --- mounting the second time might get him to wheezing or passing out, even with the stepladder in place. The person who deserves the most credit for this film is the tailor who designed clever garb to disguise Mitchum's potbelly, wide hips and broad beam behind, with boxy trousers having a heavy assignment. And the gun in the waistband is another clever gambit that channels what we notice. But alas, nothing can disguise the couch potato slowness of his heavy walk. Impossible to suspend enough disbelief to accept him as a one-man town tamer who's ready, all by himself, to take on the Big Man and his innumerable hired guns who strangely never come into town en masse, but just dribble in to keep the odds low. There's a ludicrous moment where Mitchum stands between two mounted tough guys who have the drop on him and and he takes control by fast flat hand slapping their thighs until they do what he wants! This is the high point of Mitchum exertions in the film. Otherwise he resembles someone blurred out by a disabling hangover. We're used to Mitchum's laid back style, but it's a safe bet he took this role because he knew (from the advance script) his pulse rate need never pass 55 anywhere in the film. Jan Sterling also just goes through the motions in the lacklustre script, trying to stay awake to earn her salary. Here is a western that never redeems itself and probably wouldn't do so even if Mitchum cared enough to put some snap into reading his lines --- which he doesn't. The producer of the film is Samuel Goldwyn JUNIOR, who seems not to have understudied his father carefully enough. Stay miles away from this 1955 limp noodle, crippled further by a semi-distinct sound track and no subtitles.