- SKU: 16207203
- Release Date: 01/02/2008
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One of John Wayne's most mystical films, Angel and the Badman is also the first production that Wayne personally produced. The star plays a wounded outlaw who is sheltered by a Quaker family. Attracted to the family's angelic daughter Gail Russell, the hard-bitten Wayne undergoes a slow and subtle character transformation; still, he is obsessed with killing the man (Bruce Cabot) who murdered his foster father. The storyline traces not only the regeneration of Wayne, but of the single-minded sheriff (Harry Carey) who'd previously been determined to bring Wayne to justice. Not a big hit in 1947, Angel and the Badman has since become the most frequently telecast of John Wayne's Republic films, thanks to its lapse into Public Domain status in 1974. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
In this spaghetti Western, Joseph Cotten stars as Jonas, an ex-Confederate soldier who robs a Union freight train in order to re-ignite the Civil War. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
Rage at Dawn
Since lapsing into public domain, Rage at Dawn has become one of the most readily available of Randolph Scott's westerns. Based on the exploits of the infamous Reno gang, the film casts Scott as a federal agent assigned to squelch the Renos once and for all. After staging a few phony train robberies, Scott is accepted into the gang. While posing as a criminal, he discovers that the Renos are able to operate freely because they've paid off several important local officials. Once he's managed to round up the surviving gang members, Scott must contend with a self-righteous lynch mob led by Howard Petrie. Mala Powers is the leading lady in Rage at Dawn, while the dreaded Reno boys are convincingly enacted by J. Carroll Naish, Forrest Tucker, Myron Healey and Denver Pyle. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Filmed in a two-tone process called Cinecolor, The Sundowners is a compact little western making good use of an old Hollywood chestnut. Robert Preston and Robert Sterling play two brothers who find themselves on opposite sides of the legal fence. Since Sterling rather than Preston has the mustache this time, Sterling's the bad guy. Caught in the crossfire is Preston's son, who is menaced by Sterling. This 1950 version should not be confused with the 1960 Warners film of the same name, which is set on an Australian sheep ranch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Il Grande Duello
Il Grande Duello is the original title of this Italian/French/West German production. The titular duel pits hard-bitten gunslinger Clayton (Lee Van Cleef) against the equally gritty Saxon (Horst Frank). Before this takes place, however, Clayton champions the cause of Newland (Peter O'Brien) a young punk who'd been framed on a murder charge. One of the beauties of the spaghetti western genre is that there were seldom any clearly defined Good or Bad Guys. This helped to keep the audience guessing as to the ultimate outcome of the film, thereby increasing the entertainment value tenfold. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
A down-and-dirty town is forced to shape up when a new sheriff (Clint Walker) comes to town. However, when a scheme is launched to destroy the lawman's authority, he must discover the perpetrators and preserve his reputation. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi
The Deadly Companions
Sam Peckinpah's first feature as director is this modest Western, taking place in the late 1860s. Yellowleg (Brian Keith), a former sergeant in the Union army, is obsessed with tracking down Turk (Chill Wills), a Rebel army deserter who, during the War Between the States, tried to scalp him as he lay wounded on a battlefield. Yellowleg finds Turk and his sidekick Billy (Steve Cochran) in a cantina and convinces them to help him rob a bank. They journey to Gila City, where the bank is located, and find that another group of bank robbers are also in Gila City to rob the same bank. During a shoot-out with the other bank robbers, Yellowleg accidentally kills the nine-year-old son of dance-hall hostess Kit Tilden (Maureen O'Hara). Remorseful at having caused the death of Kit's son, Yellowleg forces Turk and Billy to accompany him through Apache territory to bury Kit's son at the gravesite of her husband in the ghost town of Siringo. When Billy attacks Kit, Yellowleg throws him out of their camp. Then Turk deserts. As Kit and Yellowleg finally reach Siringo, Yellowleg realizes that he is in love with her. But then, Billy and Turk reappear, having robbed the bank in Gila City, leading to a final confrontation between Yellowleg and Turk. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Originally a pilot for a television series, this western centers on a wild pair of detectives who are hired to bring train hijackers to justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi