- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Hurrahs to Altar, Vern and Frenchy!
- Raymond Banacki
This movie Western isn't meant to be helmed by a sweet young thing, it is meant for a lady with some obvious mileage on her. This film is a celebration of Dietrich the Icon and was obviously conceived for her. She delivers on both levels - as an icon and as an actress. As the owner/operator of a ranch where outlaws can hide out, she is one tough cookie - much tougher than the grungy "residents" of Chuck-A-Luck. And when Dietrich "sings", it isn't about the voice, it is about the delivery. And Dietrich gets fine support from her two co-stars, Mel Ferrer who has never looked more sexy and Arthur Kennedy, who's an interesting choice as the young stud. This film was financed and controlled by Howard Hughes, who interfered a great deal with the final cut. Surprisingly, it still became a highly unusual and very gripping Western.
I'm not a Marlene Dietrich fan so maybe she's been in 50 westerns I don't know about, but she seemed terribly out of place in this one. It was interesting to read in the Trivia section that she kept wanting lighting tricks to make her look younger and I agree; she needed all the help she could get. She was around 50 which isn't that old, but she looked like everyone's grandmother instead of sexy lady. The gray in Ferrer's hair didn't make him look older to match her age, she still out-aged everyone. I thought the story itself was pretty good and with a real western lady playing the lead I think this movie could've been better. The music in this film was atrocious, from the stupid title song to Dietrich's horrible singing. The best acting in the movie was done when all the men stood up cheering and clapping after her song. It really was hard to take this film seriously. I don't think it was meant to be a comedy because it's not funny, it's just hard to believe that anyone involved in making this movie could find it even passably good.
- Mr. Blandings
Typical of the western genre, this movie features a silly title, cardboard cut-out characters, and substandard acting (the one exception being George Reeves, who should have passed on the part). The corny "chuck-a-luck" ballade that is crooned throughout is unintentionally laughable. And Dietrich ... well, she should not be allowed to sing, period. In the words of the mysteriously popular Dietrich, this movie is "cwap." * out of *****
Rancho Notorious (1952)
- James Higgins
60/100. You would think the combination of Lang and Marlene Dietrich would be amazing, but this is my fourth viewing of the film over a 35 year period, and not once was I impressed with this movie. The score is a little overbearing and it just rarely rises above an ordinary western from the 1950's. I was disappointed in the art direction, the sets looked very obvious to me. It's a fair story given an okay treatment. I am in the minority on this one, but the film to me went from one cliche to another. Arthur Kennedy is a bland choice and lacks the fire needed for the role. Certainly it has some good visuals, so at least one of Fritz Lang's trademark touches came through.
- Wendy Winkler
This is one of Marlene Dietrich's best movies. She is just great in it. I also like Mel Ferrer in this movie too. One of the best things is that song that is sung throughout the movie.