Stranger On Horseback
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In the 1930s, McCrea starred in two large-scale westerns, "WELLS FARGO" (1937) with wife-to-be Francis Dee and Cecil B. DeMille's "UNION PACIFIC" (1939) with Barbara Stanwyck --- He reached the peak of his early career in the early 1940s, in such films as Alfred Hitchcock's "FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT" (1940) and two by Preston Sturges, "SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS" (1941), and "THE PALM BEACH STORY" (1942).
McCrea also starred in two William A. Wellman westerns, "THE GREAT MAN'S LADY" (1942), again with Stanwyck, and "BUFFALO BILL", with character actor Edgar Buchanan (1944) --- After the success of "THE VIRGINIAN" (1946), McCrea made westerns exclusively for the rest of his career--with the exception of the British-made "ROUGH SHOOT" (1953) --- In 1959, Joel McCrea and his son Jody McCrea starred in the NBC-TV series WICHITA TOWN", which lasted one season and was produced by the Mirisch Corp --- 1962 saw him united with fellow veteran of westerns Randolph Scott in "RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY" (1962), under the direction of Sam Peckinpah.Read more ›
Surprisingly, this film actually has the feel of an early Spaghetti Western, in that our hero faces several situations in which he is vastly out-numbered (as in DJANGO) yet easily deals with the situation. The photography and locales (Sedona) greatly enhance the experience. As for odd touches, I personally like the wide-angle shot in the marshal's office with the cat just off to the right cleaning itself while important dialogue is being discussed...you're focused on the cat until you realise that you'd better pay attention here.
It seems that Tom Bannerman (well played by Kevin McCarthy) has shot and killed an innocent man who objected to Tom molesting his wife. The Bannermans run the whole valley (much like the Barkleys, only they're not as nice) and Josiah Bannerman (another great John McIntire performance) doesn't want his only son standing trial for murder and he sets his minions against McCrea's Thorne, a man committed to uphold the law and bring Tom to trial at all costs. This plays like RIO BRAVO before RIO BRAVO, with touches of GUNMAN'S WALK and Burt Lancaster's later (1970's) LAWMAN thrown in.
Emile Meyer also gives an excellent performance as the Town Marshal who sides with McCrea.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Joel McCrea is an actor who proved to portray the good old west with upstanding & GOD fearing values. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr. F.
Fine Western with nicely developed characters and a good cast. Filmed in color in Sedona, Arizona area in the 1950's. Read morePublished 5 months ago by jsk
I enjoyed this movie, cannot believe that I had not seen it before.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Joel played a judge going into a wild town for his first trial. He wouldn't put up with any nonsense from the rich man of the town. We really enjoyed this movie.Published 10 months ago by Grandma Betty