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4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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(Sep 13, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In BRANDED, Ladd plays Choya, a bandit who poses as the long-lost son of a wealthy Texas rancher. Shamed by the kindness of his new family and attracted to his lovely "sister," Choya vows to right the wrong he's done them. He rides out in search of the real missing heir...and into adventure as big as the western sky.

They don't make 'em like Branded anymore. Actually, they hardly make 'em at all. Westerns, that is, with their big skies and scenic technicolor vistas, rousing musical scores, cattle and cowpokes, bad guys and prairie damsels, horses and wagons and dust. Branded has all of that, and a good story, decent acting, and superior writing to go with it. Alan Ladd plays Choya, a morally ambiguous loner (asked if he has any friends or kinfolk, he submits "my guns" and "my horse") and falsely-accused bandit who gets pulled into a "foolproof" million dollar scam that involves impersonating the long-lost son of a rich Texas cattle rancher. Needless to say, complications ensue. The villain (Robert Keith) starts getting antsy; the rancher, Lavery (Charles Bickford), and his wife turn out to be kind, decent folks; Choya takes an interest in his "sister" (Mona Freeman) that goes well beyond fraternal devotion; and his conscience kicks in, too. His ruse revealed, feeling guilt-ridden and seeking redemption, Choya spends the second half of the film on a quest to find the real missing Lavery heir (no easy task, as "Tonio" has been raised by a notorious Mexican outlaw)… and, in the end, to discover that what he really wants and needs is the family he's just betrayed. We all know how it will turn out, of course, but Branded is a good, wholesome family fare, and a lot of fun to boot. This DVD release contains no bonus features. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Ladd, Charles Bickford, Mona Freeman
  • Directors: Rudolph Maté
  • Writers: Cyril Hume, Max Brand, Sydney Boehm
  • Producers: Mel Epstein
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Y08U6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,356 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Branded" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 26, 2005
Format: DVD
"All my life I've been a snake...lived by my wits...gotten what I've wanted any way I wanted it. Just lately, I've been wonderin'...if...just for once...I could do somethin' somethin' a little decent."

Choya (Alan Ladd) finds himself in the middle of a cruel con, and then finds he has a conscience. In Branded, a very good Western, Ladd plays a man who has always done what he wants, a loner at heart. "You got any friends?" an old man asks him. "My guns," Choya says. "Kinfolk?" "My horse."

Choya meets P. Jefferson Leffingwell (Robert Keith), who shows Choya how he can claim to be the lost son of the Lavery family, wealthy ranch owners. The son was kidnapped more than 20 years ago and has never been heard of since. Richard Lavery (Charles Bickford) renews each year a $100,000 reward in the hope of hearing something about his son. Choya and Leffingwell plan to split the reward, and with Choya accepted as the son, Leffingwell points out that in time he'll inherit the cattle ranch as well...and maybe to speed things up they'll even help Lavery into an early grave.

A tattooed birthmark and Choya's own cleverness do the trick. Lavery and his wife, fragile emotionally since the child was taken, and the Lavery's daughter, Ruth (Mona Freeman), accept Choya completely. Then something happens that now drives the movie into a new direction. He falls for Ruth and he is changed by the decency and openness of the Laverys. He decides to redeem himself by trying to find the real son and then disappearing. This sets off yet more unexpected developments.

Branded, in my view, is an excellent Western. There's great scenery, of course, and plenty of action.
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Format: DVD
this is one of the best western i have seen.where alan ladd's performance is powerful, razor sharp with a whip lashing command in his voice. who went to rob the cattle baron charles bickford of their fortune as their long lost son -somewhere along the line he had a change of heart and brings home their real lost son who was removed from the family when he was only 5 yrs old and given to a mexican bandit across the river who raised him as his own.i think it is one of the must have movies.
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By THE BLUEMAHLER on September 22, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rudolph Mate's "Branded" emerged at the dawn of the 1950's. It stars Alan Ladd and is little remembered today, due in part to Ladd's being cast in George Steven's phenomenally popular Shane a mere three years later. I do not side with the consensus of contemporary criticism in the reassessment that Stevens' classic is overrated, just as I will not concede to revisionist criticism regarding "High Noon" although I do believe there were, and still are, better westerns (i.e.;' Henry King's 'The Gunfighter', Budd Boetticher's ' The Tall T', or Anthony Mann's 'Naked Spur' ) However, "Branded" is as almost as good as the film which sealed the surprising superstardom of Ladd.

There is something quintessentially cinematic and mythic in the image of a man on a horse under an expansive sky. "Branded" fills that bill to the Technicolor rim, contradicting an often held opinion that westerns simply look better in black and white. Sydney Boehm's unpredictable screenplay comes from a Max Brand novel and meshes well with Mate's sense of pacing.

Alan Ladd was an actor of limited range, and came off best when his persona of icy precision was used to full advantage, as it is here in the role of Choya. This film literally starts off with a bang. Choya is holed up in a general store, surrounded by enemies. He pulls off an exciting escape and teams up with T. Jefferson Leffingwell (Robert Keith) and his aptly named partner, Tattoo (John Berkes). Leffingwell has a guaranteed get rich scheme. Leffingwell knows of a wealthy ranch family with a long lost son who was kidnapped 25 years ago. The son had a unique birthmark, which Tattoo tattoos on Choya's shoulder. Once Tattoo's services are no longer needed, Leffingwell brutally murders his partner to increase his share. Choya doesn't seem to care.
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There was this 1950 action-packed oater starring Alan Ladd, Mona Freeman and Charles Bickford. 94 minutes of spectacular outdoor Arizona and New Mexico locales wrapped around a bad guy redeemed by his conscience storyline with complexities that make for an intelligent and entertaining western for family and friends. The late and revered Rudolph Mate directed this project and once you see it you will understand the tattoo association. Solid moral lessons taught here!
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Paramount Studios eager to cash in on the success of Ladd's first western WHISPERING SMITH released a year earlier, so he was quickly hurried into this one which was adapted from a Max Brand novel "Montana Rides Again" It was also the first western for director Rudolph Mate.

Following a failed robbery in town Choya (Alan Ladd) a gunfighter is on the run and is tracked down in the mountains by a couple of no-good cowboys T. Jefferson Leffingwell (Robert Keith) and his partner "Tattoo" he is persuaded into posing as the long-lost son of a wealthy rancher Richard Lavery (Charles Bickford). For the plan to work it requires Choya to have a tattoo on his shoulder to represent a birthmark on the missing son. Choya talks his way into getting a job on the Lavery's Bar M ranch and overtime persuades the Lavery's that he is their long-lost son, complication arise when he finds himself falling for the Lavery's daughter Ruth (Mona Freeman)

Following roundup time he undertakes a cattle drive for Bar M ranch to El Paso at which point Ruth also decides to go along too. About the same time Leffingwell turns up planning to kill Lavery when the chance arrives, Choya offers him an alternative of stealing the money from the cattle drive. But guilt-ridden he can't do it so he double-crosses Leffingwell and has the cattle money deposited in the Lavery's account in the El Paso Bank, but not before he forces a confession from Leffington saying that after kidnapping the boy, he lost him to the notorious Mexican bandit Mateo Rubriz (Joseph Calleia), who adopted him as his own son called Tonio (Peter Hansen).

Finally Choya tells Ruth the truth that they are not brother and sister.
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