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Ramrod

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A rancher defies her father and spurs on a range war she expects her foreman to fight.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0097RU3GI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,140 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ramrod" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I loved this movie.... and boy is it packed with star power from McRea and Veronica Lake to Lloyd Bridges and Donald Crisp and lets agree that Andre De Toth knew how to direct. I'd give this a solid 5 star review if the BR disc was priced at $15 and was a beauty to behold. As it is ...its $25 bucks and not restored ...full of dust and other issues which should be addressed at this level of price in today's market place. I'm happy to own this disc but I can't give it any more than 3 stars when you consider its high price and low quality of image.

I've had good luck with Olive Films blu rays but it seems they just spit out whatever they get so I'll proceed with caution going forward. The Trap starring Richard Widmark was another of theirs I picked up today and its just a dreadful transfer.... truly horrible and again $25.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of the bitterest of all range war westerns, Ramrod is an early example of Andre De Toth's muscular intensity that characterises all his work in the genre through the string of very satisfying Randolph Scotts in the 50s to the extremely bleak Day of the Outlaw (1959). Joel McCrea is just fine as the initially weak cowpoke who tries to keep peace on the range in the face of two rival camps, one led by rancher's daughter Veronica Lake (in a ferocious, chilling performance) and the other by tough hombre Preston Foster, who loves and is rejected by her.

De Toth handles the complex plot and screenplay with his usual sharp explorations of shifting allegiances and betrayals of trust; Don Defore's edgy performance as McCrea's erstwhile friend is pivotal in embodying the film's dark mood and tone which some commentators have labelled noir.

It's great to see some of the Scott/De Toths on or soon to be released on DVD. Why not this film? Its brooding sense of evil is quite extreme.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A ramrod or segundo is the owner's man, his or her representative standing between the owner and range crew. In this case Dave Nash, newly appointed ramrod, is called upon to stand not only between his boss and the crew but also every other cattleman on the range. The reason is that the the 66 outfit is contemplating introduction of sheep to what has been up to now only open range cattle country.

As the film opens, we seem to be getting 'in medias res' after certain things have happened, events of which we have no information. As things move along many things become clear, however, the cheating, lying, murder, and out-and-out villany continue to unfold anew. As one character eventually states, too many men have died in this unofficial range war. For it has become open season, with many characters, including Dave Nash, to have seemingly changed their typical, accepted pattern of behavior.

This film of 1947 follows the Macmillian hardcover book by Luke Short (Frederick D. Glidden) from 1943, which by 1944 in hardcover had already reached its 3rd printing. The mass market paperback has been in print down to the present day, and can be fairly easily located in 2nd hand stores even now. I've had a Bantam paperback on my shelves for many a year, and one interesting thing about the movie is that it follows the book fairly well, which in itself is rather unusual for a Hollywood western of that time or any time.

Another unusual feature of both book and film is the behavior of Connie, or as one person said in another western novel she appears to be "crazy as a tree full of owls". She will deceive anyone to obtain what she wants, but true to fashion once she gets it, it doesn't satisfy, isn't really what she wants at all.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Noir or not, this is an outstanding movie - it has jumped into my top 10 westerns of all time. It has a complex, twisting plot, finely executed and often brutal action scenes and great use of rugged landscape. The sophisticated script tells a strongly moral story, with economically sketched but still layered characters and excellent performances from all the lead actors.

The dialogue requires concentration by the viewer, as some characters' background and motivation are sketched in a brief sentence or two or even in a phrase. The sparse conversations pose some real moral issues, which will linger in your mind long after viewing the film. Is violent revenge ever justified, or should a man always pursue his ends through legal means? Is it good to sacrifice your life for a principle or a person you believe in? Should a man be a drifter or a stayer? Should a woman's objective be to marry a man and support his life, or can she marry and seek to also take a place of power in a world dominated by powerful and violent men?

The film makes clear the answers to these questions are not straightforward and the characters working through these issues are not painted in simple black and whites of good and bad.

Working from the excellent script, the director creates genuine suspense, often leading up to violence where the faces of the men facing death betray fear and uncertainty. The stalking and eventual cold-blooded execution of one of the characters is among the most chilling sequences you will see in a movie. In another scene, one of the 'good' guys goads an enemy into a one-sided gun fight, including by stubbing out a burning cigar on his intended victim's hand.
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