Howard Kemp is a bounty hunter who’s been after killer Ben Vandergroat for a long time. Along the way, Kemp is forced to take on a couple of partners, an old prospector named Jesse Tate and a dishonorably discharged Union soldier, Roy Anderson.
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This is one western that displaces the action from the outside to the mind. The minute-by-minute update in character equations is something very few films can handle. At any one moment, you can't be too sure who's trying to run the game, and who's trying to double-cross whom.
The very end took me by surprise. Not something you tend to expect, let alone see, in the Western. Jimmy Stewart's performance was pleasingly different from the start, though you have to really be paying attention to get what his character is being taken through in the story. Maybe not as deeply passioned as John Wayne in "The Searchers", but an internal voyage to his real self beneath his circumstances nonetheless.
It could be better only if the girl were going to push the hero into the water, cause he wouldn't give up on his plan. And then the girl alone would ride away to the sunset. But it's still pretty good.