Veteran bounty-hunter Morg Hickman rides into a town in danger. The sheriff has been killed, and young inexperienced Ben Owens named a temporary replacement until a permanent can be found. Ben wants to be that permanent replacement, so needs to impress the townspeople with his skill.
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Cinematography by Loyal Griggs. "Desire" list: Anthony Perkins, who with "Psycho" became one of the first actors to personify an openly gay figure in cinema, in this film "learns to be a man", which implies the confrontation between social roles and unspeakable desires, a "masculinizing the sissy." Again a western proves to be the Hellenic territory for excellence in classic cinema and its social culture.
What I like in Anthony Mann's westerns, it's the fact that each character has a past and acts according his background. The audience is always waiting for the scenes that should reveal the reasons of the character's actions. A western that explores many themes of the genre. Recommended.
Apart from the delicate design of the sound of spurs and boots, windows and frames do most of the work of pin-pointing Ben’s transformation into a powerful sheriff (In other words the father figure, Morgan). One could track and compare the gestures of Morgan and Ben in relation to the space beyond the windows and the people occupying it.
Fonda does a terrific job. Love watching him. Perkins performance was not as polished but did not detract.
Good story. Racism, prejudice, love, indifference, pride. This movie pushes a lot of buttons.
4 Tin Stars