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Silver Lode tells the story of Dan Ballard (John Payne) and Rose Evans (Lizabeth Scott) who are about to be married when Marshal Ned McCarthy (Dan Duryea) and his deputies ride into town looking for Ballard. McCarty accuses Ballard of having murdered his brother and has come to arrest him. At first the townspeople are on Ballard's side but gradually they turn against him especially when they believe that he has killed the town sheriff (Emile Meyer). Ballard tries to prove his innocence and expose McCarty, who appears to be a reference to Senator Joseph McCarthy.
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As for the lovely Lizabeth Scott, I still found her to be very appealing in western garb. I'm so used to her wearing form-fitting dresses and sometimes playing the bad girl in those 'film noirs'. Good ending.
The stoic hero is played by John Payne with his back against the wall for most of the film and Dan Duryea is the villain of the piece. Lizabeth Scott is Ballard's fiance and Dolores Moran plays the saloon girl. The film moves along at a fine pace well directed by Allan Dwan
John Payne turns in a fine performance as the hero and "Baddies" don't get much better than Dan Duryea! Altogether a fine western DVD movie plus Trailer etc
I thought the color balance, sound and image clarity were very good for this DVD.
SILVER LODE is a `message' movie, with more or less the same message its illustrious predecessor had - McCarthyism is bad. Or, as the dvd jacket blurb begins, "A fictional account of the most shameful moments in American history. McCarthyism justice western style: a case of guilty by association." On the off chance that the original audience missed the connection, the chief bad guy in this one, wonderfully played by A-List heavy Dan Duryea, is named `Ned McCarthy.' Get it?
I don't have much patience for message westerns, and SILVER LODE definitely fits into the Ox-Bow Incident/High Noon continuum. I find myself drawn out of the movie too often, usually to criticize minor plot points (No judge would ever have so cavalierly allowed a shady, unidentified US Marshall extradite one of his town's citizens!) or to whine about how preachy it is.
Still, SILVER LODE boasts a strong cast, headed by Gary Coo...er, I mean John Payne as the innocent accused and B-movie queen Lizabeth Scott as his almost-bride. Duryea is, as usual, excellent and great fun to watch. SILVER LODE also contains more than its fair share of well choreographed and photographed action scenes.
A bit heavy handed, SILVER LODE is a movie with a message that borrows liberally from the mother lode of anti-McCarthyism westerns, HIGH NOON. The higher your tolerance for being preached at, the more you'll enjoy this movie.