Outlaw Wes McQueen is sprung from jail to help pull one last railroad job. He doesn’t like his new partners – except dance-hall girl Colorado – and anyway fancies Julie Ann newly arrived from the east to set up home with her father.
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"Desire" list: Joel McCrea 1, the one-note man who reached rare notes, inaccessible to others more versed and much less charismatic actors, in this western on the verge of a suicidal fury - which has long been "my" Walsh - reaches the extreme beauty of the beings in deep rejection of the social, wild as it is expected that the true refractory gesture should be and as remarkable as.
How noir, Hamlet black: doomed, idiot planets amid the most scorching of stars; a man and a woman can escape toward goodness only into blackness. "A couple of fools in a dead village dreaming about something that will never happen." Herr Fassbinder must have carried a prayer for this film.
A considerable improvement on Walsh's own High Sierra. I must admit it started a bit hokey; the constant use of music, goofy tone of the prison opening & McCrea's valiant rescue of the stagecoach. Then through some considerable performances and patience we become invested, the film continuing to widen its beats and character depths. The first 'western noir' left me dubious, now I'm much more convinced 3.5