Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rawhide (1951)

Director: Henry Hathaway

Writer: Dudley Nichols

Composer: Sol Kaplan

Starring: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, Edgar Buchanan, Jack Elam, George Tobias, Jeff Corey, James Millican, Louis Jean Heydt

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  A story told with a blazing .44!

Plot:  A stagecoach stop employee and a stranded woman traveler find themselves at the mercy of four desperate outlaws intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment.

My rating:  7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

Man, what a good flick!  Vinnie (Hayward) got on my nerves for a while due to her pissy attitude but over time I got where she was coming from and it didn't bother me.  The performances all around are very good.  It's a dark film for its time which makes it all the better.  The location shooting in Lone Pine, CA is gorgeous.  I could get used to living there.  Hugh Marlowe plays the lead villain but it's Jack Elam that takes the cake as the dumb and dangerous Tevis.  He's the hardened type that's a powder keg just waiting to go off when pushed too far and he does.  The direction is top notch, too.  There's a scene where a letter asking for help falls out of Tom's (Power) shirt unbeknownst to him.  The wind takes it near Rafe's (Marlowe) feet but he doesn't see it.  Then it blows over and hangs onto a lantern and just when Rafe goes to pick up the lantern (still not seeing it), the note blows away again.  There's no music and it looks like it happened as naturally as the wind.  It's a brilliantly executed scene.  The ending is balls-out incredible, especially when the baby shows up in the middle of the gunfight.  WOW!  And you could tell that baby (no more than 2 years old) was scared shitless.  It was awesome!  Tom's last line in the film is cheesy but it's the Hollywood thing to do.  Still, this is a more mature picture than what you'd expect, and it's a Western which makes it even better.

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