- SKU: 8826194
- Release Date: 05/20/2008
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Ratings & Reviews
Andrew V. McLaglen directs the Western drama The Rare Breed, based on the real-life introduction of English Hereford cattle to the American West in the 1880s. Maureen O'Hara plays Martha Price, an widowed Englishwoman who convinces rancher Alexander Bowen (Brian Keith) to use her new cattle breed. James Stewart stars as ranch hand Sam Burnett, a rambler who agrees to take the rare bull to Texas in order to breed it with the longhorns. He also accepts a bribe along the way from the lawless Taylor (Alan Caillou). The determined Martha and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills) demand to go along for the trip, leading to Burnett having to rescue them from several bouts of Western-style danger. Soon Bowen loses faith in the breeding idea, but Burnett has grown to believe in the bull. The bull dies after the harsh winter, but Burnett saves one of its calves. He and Martha decide to start their own cattle ranch. Meanwhile, Hilary begins a romance with Bowen's son Jamie (Don Galloway). Also starring Jack Elam as swindler Deke Simons. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Night Passage is so similar in spirit to the successful collaborations between star James Stewart and director Anthony Mann that it comes as a surprise that this film is directed by James Nielson. Stewart plays Grant McLaine, ex-railroad employee and the level-headed brother of firebrand gunslinger The Utica Kid (Audie Murphy). When Grant is entrusted to guard a train delivering $10,000, The Kid's gang holds up the train and steals the money. Grant takes off to hunt his felonious brother down and attempts to convince him to go straight. Unfortunately, The Kid refuses, and the brothers face off in a showdown. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Far Country
One of the most entertaining of the Western movies to come out of the 1950s, this is a Stewart vehicle in which he must take on the ruthlessness of the frontier. Set in the Yukon, Stewart and his friends are driving cattle to market from Wyoming to Canada, where the boom towns pay top dollar for beef. When they arrive in Skagway, the corrupt sheriff of the town (John McIntire) steals the cattle and Stewart et al are forced to fight for their herd. Together with the female saloon keeper of another town (Ruth Roman), they find themselves up against an evil they were not prepared for. When Stewart's friend (portrayed by Walter Brennan) is killed, he is forced to go up against the evil sheriff. Good versus evil in incredible Yukon settings makes this an above average Western. ~ Tana Hobart, Rovi
Bend of the River
Another of the collaborations between actor James Stewart and director Anthony Mann, Bend of the River casts Stewart as a former outlaw, now working as trail guide for a group of Oregon-bound farmers. He is aided in this endeavor by Arthur Kennedy, a far-from-reformed horse thief. Upon arriving in Portland, Stewart gets in the middle of a scam operated by trader Howard Petrie, who has reneged on his promise to ship goods to the settlers. Unable to take action through legal channels, Stewart and farmer Jay C. Flippen steal the provision and scurry back to the settlement by boat. On their return, they discover that Kennedy has sold out to the crooked Petrie and intends to reclaim the supplies, taking Flippen and his daughter Julie Adams as hostages to ensure safe passage. It's up to Stewart to turn the tables on his former friend and save the day. As in the other Stewart-Mann productions, Jimmy breaks away from his usual easygoing screen persona to play a tough, self-serving rugged individual, whose true motives and loyalties remain in doubt until the very end of the film. Bend of the River was adapted by Borden Chase from Bill Gulick's novel Bend of the Snake. Watch for Stepin Fetchit, Rock Hudson, Royal Dano, and Frances Bavier in minor roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Destry Rides Again
Tom Destry (James Stewart), son of a legendary frontier peacekeeper, doesn't believe in gunplay. Thus he becomes the object of widespread ridicule when he rides into the wide-open town of Bottleneck, the personal fiefdom of the crooked Kent (Brian Donlevy). His detractors laugh even louder when Destry signs on as deputy to drunken sheriff Wash Dimsdale (Charles Winninger). But the laughter subsides when Destry casually proves himself a crack shot, despite his abhorrence of firearms. Later, when saloon chanteuse Frenchy (Marlene Dietrich), Kent's gal, takes umbrage at Destry's indifferent reaction to her charms, she vows to make a fool of the new deputy. A huge moneymaker, Destry Rides Again served as a spectacular comeback for Marlene Dietrich, who two years earlier had been written off as "box office poison." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Lin McAdam (James Stewart) and his friend High-Spade (Millard Mitchell) arrive in Dodge City for a shooting contest, in which the prize is a perfectly manufactured Winchester repeating rifle, referred to as "One of a Thousand" -- a gun so fine that Winchester won't sell it. Lin runs across Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally) in a saloon and the two would kill each other right there but for the fact that town marshal Wyatt Earp (Will Geer) has everyone's guns. Lin wins the rifle in an extraordinary marksmanship match-up with Brown, but the latter steals the prize from him and sets out across the desert. Thus begins a battle of wits and nerves, and a pursuit to the death. The roots and raw psychological dimensions of that chase are only exposed gradually, across a story arc that includes references to Custer's Last Stand, run-ins with marauding Indians, a heroic stand with a a shady but well-intentioned grifter (Charles Drake), and a meeting with murderous sociopath named Waco Johnny Dean (Dan Duryea), plus a romantic encounter with a young, golden-hearted frontier woman (Shelley Winters). All of these story lines eventually get drawn together neatly and gracefully by director Anthony Mann, who balances the violence of the events with a lyrical, almost poetic visual language. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
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