- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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tribute to a bad man
- kevin sellers
A previous reviewer wrote that she was glad Spencer Tracy was replaced by Cagney because Tracy is an "urban" actor, implying that Cagney is not. Are you serious? There is no one more associated with concrete, car horns, and city chaos than Jimmy Cagney. The guy simply exudes "street." Which is why this film, asking us to believe the king of the gangsters as a horse rancher, is so ridiculous. It's as if John Wayne were to replace Sinatra as Frankie Machine in "Man With The Golden Arm." Also adding to the general air of implausibility is the smoldering Greek beauty, Irene Pappas, who excelled at playing resistance fighters and peasants, as a saloon gal. She's a bit more believable than Cagney, but still well short of credible. Add to the mix a dull screenplay, with too many repetitive scenes of Pappas begging Cagney not to be a vigilante, and a dull Don Dubbins as eye candy to hopefully lure in the twenty something female set to see this picture (a hope that was deservedly dashed, as this movie laid an egg) and you can see why decent direction by Robert Wise and pretty pictures of Wyoming could not save it. Give it a C.
A first class Western
I rooted for Cagney all the way. I thought his reaction to the cruelty towards the horses and how he treated the abusers was spot on. I did not see him as the bad guy at all but someone who had to watch out for himself since no one else would. Yes he could not tell Jo he loved her but that is not unusual for men. I would watch this again to see what I missed in the first few minutes. He was no bad man too me but the hero.
So Glad Spencer Tracy was Replaced with Cagney
From what I have seen of Tracy in films with horses, he could not ride. Besides, Tracy could not do westerns, he was essentially an urban actor. Cagney could ride, a real plus in a story about a man who breeds horses for a livelihood. And Cagney bred morgan horses for a hobby, so he could really identify with the character who loves his horses so much he'll take a very nasty revenge on someone who hurts them.Gorgeous photography and a very intriguing story
"Tribute to a Bad Man" originally began shooting in Colorado in spring 1955. Spencer Tracy (not a much younger man) had the Cagney role; a young actor, Robert Francis (The Caine Mutiny) had the Dobbins role. Many difficulties with Tracy (documented in one or more Tracy biographs) finally resulted in his being fired; drinking and disappearing, not rare for him, were major causes. Film production ceased in June 1955; actors sent home, pending re-casting of Tracy. Cagney signed with production to re-start in August in Colorado; note the scenery is autumn, not spring, in many shots. In the meantime, Francis at home in LA and not available for other roles, took flying lessons. He died July 31, 1955, in a small airplane crash in Burbank area. (The "3" rule came into play: Susan Ball and Carmen Miranda died within a few days. James Dean died two months later.) Francis, promising young actor, a native of Pasadena, is buried at Forest Lawn with his parents. Shooting resumed with Cagney and Dobbins in August/late summer 1955.
- Pamela Ledford
A very enjoyable film. I personally enjoyed Cagney in this film of conquering the west and all that it entailed. I don't know how I missed this western out of the thousands I've seen. I found Cagney matched with Papas and Dubbins a treat! I'm not a Cagney fan although he's definitely a fine and respected actor. Thanks for showing this scenic film.
- Fort Chia
It's a nicely done movie, and realistic unlike many westerns at the time. Cowboys and cowboy life was not romanticized. The acting was also not overwrought for its time.
A Middle Ground
Although it may not be the "best Cagney Western" (I'm partial to "Oklahoma Kid"), this is far from one of the worst films I'VE seen. Thoroughly enjoyable and filled with suspense, the film is ultimately held aloft by Cagney. Though his late career performances can be inconsistent, this one works. He captures the emotional swings of the character in a winning fashion. Fine supporting performances from Vic Morrow and Lee Van Cleef are an extra treat. The Rocky Mountains backdrop is indeed spectacular, even in the Pan and Scan version I saw. Well worh the viewing.
What movie did I just watch?!
- Bill Young
While I agree with the reviewer that the location of this movie is pristine, that's about the only good thing I found in this movie. Cagney's role was so very obviously mis-cast as he struggles throughout the movie to fit the character of the part. The writer of the story depicted a much younger rancher; Cagney in 1956 was many years past this classification. As for the female lead, she was extremely weak as were the rest of the cast members. In my humble opinion, this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen --- and I am a Cagney fan.
Best cagney western
- larry baldwin
mother nature has created magnificent mountain ranges in the great american west, coupled with unspoiled wilderness.This film has unsurpassed views of pristine meadows , streams and forests combined with excellent acting by cagney who becomes obsessed with hanging rustlers on his ranch. a difficult movie to find except a black and white copy.This movie must be viewed in color for best visual effect. Vote for a dvd to be made and request TCM to show this fine film.