Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé’s death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge leads him to Chuck-a-luck, Altar Keane’s ranch set up to hide criminals, and he finds more than he bargains for.
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The master of shadows comes out of the darkness and into the scorching heat, only to then make one of his most surprising and best efforts in Hollywood. Despite the change of scenery, Lang's obsession with organized crime still prevails, but now it's been amped with themes of regret, fame and revenge with, at times, more than a passing resemblance to John Ford's The Searchers and Anthony Mann's psychological westerns
Uneven but ultimately entertaining old-fashioned western from director Fritz Lang. It's pretty cheesy at times, framed by a handful of incredibly hokey country songs. But the original story with psychological depth and intriguing characters makes it compelling enough, even if it is only a minor achievement in Lang's impressive career.
This is a very interesting in the tradition of bizarre and vibrant Westerns that came out in the 50s with strong female leads, like Fuller's Forty Guns and Ray's Johnny Guitar. Very popular with the French New Wave too, Godard references this film in Contempt.
The best of Fritz Lang's three American Technicolor westerns, with Dietrich as a tough show girl fronting a hideout for bandits. When revenge-filled Arthur Kennedy shows up with Mel Ferrer, looking for the murderer of his fiance, a love triangle ensues, and a few punch ups and gun fights.
3.5 The score almost made it feel like a made for TV movie to me. Otherwise it would have been a four. Plus as solid and good of a western as it was, a pretty weak offering for someone of Lang’s claiber.
Deep voice bellows narration during montages like a Southern-drawling Boris Karloff in The Grinch. Some nice camera movements, an excellent sequence of character development for Marlena Dietrich's femme fatale in a Western - she walks over a mud puddle and hikes up her train, only to leave enough on the ground to get a little dirty.
Un classique du cinéma langien, second film en couleurs et troisième western, avec une toujours remarquable Marlène Dietrich nous interprétant au passage quelques décisives et subtiles complaintes du genre et dont le tumultueux passé de l'héroïne qu'elle incarne se dévoile grâce à quelques judicieux flash-back éloquents sur cet "ange des maudits" auquel Vern le vengeur va lui aussi succomber... www.cinefiches.com