Jim Deakins is a frontiersman and Indian trader who is making a perilous journey with a group of other men up the Missouri River to get a large haul of furs from friendly Blackfoot Indians. The problem is that they have to get through hostile Indian territory first.
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people talk too much yet gestures tell us the most of all. action is a consequence of character. civilization is fraught with villains—better to leave it behind and create something new: community, a loose work in progress, an organism establishing itself with natural ease, built on the terms of the group and its unique dynamics: strong work, good gab, and whiskey: the ties that bind, the stuff of life. masterpiece
Cinematography by Russell Harlan. "Desire" list: Dewey Martin might have never done another film of the same level, but in this film his level is very high, while a misbehaved Kirk Douglas pupil , teasing him, teasing himself, love as parody. "The sea, the sky, both you and I/the sea, the sky, the you and I/I know we're all blues/all shades, all hues, all blues."
A rather original western with splendid shootings of the forest in B&W, which seem to (and maybe do) foreshadow Jarmusch's Dead Man. Dewey Martin was a bad cast (moreover he has a completely obsolete haircut), Kirk is fine, but the best is probably Hunnicutt (Calloway) in the role of an old eversmoking trapper.