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Four Faces West

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Four Faces West is a 1948 Western film starring Joel McCrea, his real-life wife Frances Dee, and Charles Bickford. It is based on the novel Pasó por aquí by Eugene Manlove Rhodes. Its plot concerns a down-on-his-luck cowboy who robs a bank.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, Charles Bickford, Joseph Calleia, William Conrad
  • Directors: Alfred E. Green
  • Writers: C. Graham Baker, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Milarde Brent, Teddi Sherman, William Brent
  • Producers: Harry Sherman, Vernon E. Clark
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009NH9T
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,815 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Four Faces West" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By B. Cathey on September 22, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Four Faces West is a superb little Western, and it is satisfying to see it released on DVD. McCrea, Frances Dee [his real life wife], Charles Bickford [Dee's father], and Joseph Calleia head a fine cast. McCrea is eminently believable; his trademark taciturn, self-effacing character is captivating--not a single shot is fired in the entire movie! Bickford's Pat Garrett is also a stand out. Now, let us hope that some of McCrea's other oaters get released---maybe RAMROD (with Veronica Lake), or the playful SADDLE TRAMP (with John McIntyre) and CATTLE DRIVE (with Dean Stockwell). And there is STRANGER ON HORSEBACK, another superb little Western....and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, already on VHS, desperately needs DVD release.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 13, 2005
Format: DVD
This is about as untypical a Western as there is. There are no bad guys. Not a single shot is fired. It's all about friendships and choices, and centers on four people in New Mexico who meet under unexpected circumstances. There is Ross McEwen (Joel McCrea), who rides into the small frontier town of Santa Maria one morning and robs a bank of $2,000 during a community celebration. There's Pat Garrett (Charles Bickford), the new marshall of the territory who was speaking to the crowd while McEwen robbed the bank a block away. Garrett doesn't like that one bit. There's Fay Hollister (Frances Dee), a railroad nurse on her way to Alamogordo and a small hospital which has just opened. And there's Monte Marquez (Joseph Calleia), a Mexican gambler who is as shrewd as they come.

McEwen is a smart guy who uses his wits to outrun the posse gunning for him. He now has a big reward on his head and an "alive or dead" order out on him. He meets Hollister and Marquez on a train he ran to between Santa Maria and Gallup. He decides to continue to Alamogordo because he and Fay Hollister are falling in love. Marquez helps, but we're not quite sure what his game is. McEwen finds work and starts to repay the bank. We learn why he took the money. All the while, Garrett is tracking him down. The climax of the movie comes when Garrett closes in and McEwen decides he must ride for Mexico. As he gets close to the border he comes across an isolated homestead where the Mexican family is dying of diphtheria. The husband and wife are too weak to get out of bed. Their two young sons are close to death. McEwen knows if he stays there's a good chance Garrett will find him. He knows if he keeps riding the family will likely die. He decides to stay.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on June 25, 2006
Format: DVD
After robbing a bank of $2000, cowboy Ross McEwen (Joel McCrea) flees the small desert town of Santa Maria. The `great manhunter of the southwest,' Pat Garrett (Charles Bickford) is soon on his trail, starting a movie-long chase to capture the outlaw. The story is taken from Eugene M. Rhodes `Paso Por Aqui,' They Passed Here, that was first serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1926, later published as a novel. The title refers to a big rock formation in New Mexico on which passing travelers carved their names. If there are a million stories in the naked city, then, as evidenced by the rock, there are at least several hundred in the great southwest.

McEwen, on the run, gets bit by a rattler, hops a passing passenger train, and meets a pretty young nurse from the east who is traveling west to work in a small frontier hospital. The nurse is played by Frances Dee, McCrea's real-life wife, and her character's considerable talent at wrapping a tourniquet around a snake bite is second only to her ability to get McEwen to do the right thing, which, in this case, is turning himself over to Garrett before the bounty hunters get to him. That McEwen did a bad thing for a good reason - Here's the money for the farm, Pa - probably goes without saying. That McEwen and the nurse are a bumpy carriage ride and abbreviated trainboard conversation away from falling in love is no less surprising.

Even including the presence of the free agent bounty hunters there's not a lot of tension in FOUR FACES WEST. Bickford's Garrett is thoughtful and compassionate and we know if he captures McEwen he'll treat him fairly. The movie gathers some wool during its first couple of acts, but gathers steam in its third when McEwen gets serious about crossing the border into Mexico.
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Format: DVD
Allied Artists Pictures presents "FOUR FACES WEST" (1948) (89 min/B&W) -- Starring Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, Charles Bickford, Joseph Calleia, William Conrad & Martin Garralaga

Directed by Alfred E. Green

When the family land is threatened with foreclosure, honest, hard-working rancher Ross McEwen (Joel McCrea) resorts to bank robbery in order to come up with the necessary cash. Although he leaves the bank an I.O.U., Sheriff Pat Garrett (Charles Bickford) is sent out to catch the criminal as he flees to escape capture.

In his trek across the desert McEwen comes upon a Mexican family who are desperately ill. They will die if he refuses to help and proceeds on his original journey. He shows his true nature and interrupts his pilgrimage to care for the family. Pat Garrett, who has sworn to catch the outlaw, overtakes McEwen at the poor hovel. The climax is suspenseful and is a fitting conclusion to this fine Western adventure which was originally titled "They Passed this Way".

Frances Dee who plays Fay Hollister, a nurse who tends McEwen's wounds, was Joel McCrea's real-life wife (they were married for 57 years!) - the pair had also combined more than 10 years earlier for Wells Fargo (1937).

McCrea appears to have been very much his own man, he never overplayed any of his many roles. His presence here does nothing that calls attention to himself, ringing true with an air of quiet nobility, and the effect is deep and emotional.

Special Footnote: -- Not a single shot is fired nor is one punch thrown in director Phil Green's "Four Faces West" -- The film was produced by Harry "Pop" Sherman who was the original producer of the Hopalong Cassidy series.
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