Rancher Matt Devereaux (Spencer Tracy) rears his four sons with tough love in this Western that rings of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” After years of living under their dad’s rule, Ben (Richard Widmark), Mike (Hugh O’Brian) and Danny (Earl Holliman) are indifferent when he’s accused of a crime. But son Joe (Robert Wagner) takes the blame for his dad and serves jail time. Years later, Joe’s released to find his father dead and his brothers to blame.
A messenger boy at Paramount in the mid 1920s, Edward Dmytryk became an editor in the 1930s and began directing in 1935. By the mid ‘40s he had such impressive credits as The Devil Commands (1941) with Boris Karloff; the anti-fascist Hitler’s Children (1943); the noirs Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Cornered (1945), starring Dick Powell; and Crossfire (1947), one of the first Hollywood films to confront anti-Semitism. In 1948 Dmytryk became one of the “Hollywood Ten” when he was accused of having ties to the communist party and was sentenced to a year in prison for contempt of Congress. Following his imprisonment, Dmytryk was blacklisted in the U.S., so he directed three films in England, but returned to the States in 1951. Upon his return he went before the House Un-American Activities Committee again, this time as a “friendly” witness, and his name was dropped from the blacklist. He then resumed his American career and directed four films for producer Stanley Kramer, most notably The… read more