- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Excellent Stereo Music and Fine Color Scenery
This 1955 movie is a pleasant surprise with its terrific stereo sound and clear color picture. Both add tremendously to any Western, but especially here because of the fine music composed by the famous Max Steiner (of "Gone with the Wind"). The story is a bit hokey but is well acted by Robinson, Stanwyck, and Ford.
So Bad Its Humorous
This is one of the most ridiculous westerns I have ever seen. So many illogical occurrences. A paraplegic is left on the second floor in a burning two story house that is burned to the ground and he survives with no serious burns. The sheriff's character is so ridiculously goofy that he can't be taken seriously at any time. Anchor's owner tells his brother that their men "ride for the money" and if there is shooting, they will all leave. This is right after 8 of his men have just been killed in an ambush. The acting by the actress who played the daughter has to be some of the worst I have ever seen. I kept watching it because it was so ridiculous as to be hilarious while trying to be serious. Did any of the cast read this script beforehand - Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson must have been desperate to appear in this movie.
The Violent Men (1955)
- Bruce Reber
I'm not a big Western fan, but when I saw "The Violent Men" on TCM 9/27/10 for the first time I found it to be very good. It's a story of a rancher, Parrish (Glenn Ford) who is forced into a battle against a ruthless cattle baron named Lew Wilkison (Edward G. Robinson) who is trying to take over a large part of a western territory by forcing the other cattlemen (through violence and intimidation) to sell their land to him. His wife Martha (Barbara Stanwyck) has been having an affair with his brother Cole (Brian Keith), and she is plotting to kill her husband so that she can own his Ranch called Anchor and let Cole run it. At first Parrish doesn't want to become involved in any kind of fight, having seen too much killing and destruction in the Army during the War Between The States, but he has no choice after one of his foremen is killed by Wilkison's gang. He also loses his fiance, whom he had promised he would marry and move back East after he sold his ranch. After Parrish's ranch is burned, he and his own men attack Wilkison's ranch and burn it. After Martha mistakenly thinks she's let Wilkison die in the burning house, she goes to Cole and demands that he leave his Mexican girlfriend. Parrish and his men hold Wilkison and his daughter captive. When they return to the remains of Anchor, Parrish then shows up and shoots Cole dead, and Martha is killed by Cole's girlfriend. When his daughter tells Parrish that Wilkison is rebuilding Anchor and wants him to run it for him, he tells her he must rebuild his own ranch. But then he reconsiders, saying that Wilkison is determined to get his ranch one way or the other. "The Violent Men" also has excellent cinematography and music score. I rate it three stars.
This is a very good western with a stunning cast. Glenn Ford underplays very well in keeping with his reserved character. He allows Barbara Stanwyck to effectively chew the scenery! The interesting plot involves a brutal range war which has an unpredictable though plausible ending. If you like the genre this is worth a look.