Barricade


1h 17m 1950
Barricade

Brief Synopsis

Two fugitives try to prove the head of a mining camp is a murderer.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Western
Release Date
Apr 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,771ft

Synopsis

When a wagon carrying Aubrey Milburn and fugitive Judith Burns overturns in the desert, the injured passengers are brought to Boss Kruger's gold mine, thirty-five miles from the nearest town. Judith is badly hurt, but Kruger advises Milburn that despite his broken ankle, he will be expected to work for his keep. Later, Milburn witnesses a fistfight between Kruger and Bob Peters, another new arrival, when Peters refuses to work with explosives. Milburn learns that the mine is staffed with fugitives and criminals, whom the brutal Kruger keeps virtual prisoners. When Milburn questions the men, however, they reveal nothing. One night, pretending to clean, Milburn searches Kruger's room. Kruger comes in unexpectedly, but rather than punishing Milburn, initiates a discussion of power and evil. When Kruger learns that Judith is dying, he challenges Milburn to save her life, but adds that if Judith recovers, he will send her back to prison. Despite his conflicting feelings, Milburn, aided by Peters, tends to Judith's wounds. Moved by Milburn's actions, the judge, a drunken reprobate, throws out his liquor and prays for her recovery. After Judith recuperates, she begs Kruger not to send her back to town, and his callous response leads to another fight between Peters and Kruger. Later, the judge begs Kruger for a chance to help the other men reform. Kruger allows it, but after the judge's impassioned speech, Kruger eggs the men to attack and ridicule the judge, who then tells everyone that Kruger murdered his own brother in order to keep the mine for himself. The judge adds that Kruger's nephew Clay has vowed to avenge his father and that all of Kruger's men will be expected to fight on Kruger's side when Clay arrives. At the end of his speech, the judge kills himself. Some time later, Peters sets off a blast in the mine that is intended to kill Kruger, but, unknown to the other men, the blast merely traps him. While Kruger digs his way out, the men, believing that he is dead, celebrate. Peters and Judith take one of the wagons, hoping to cross the nearby desert and start a new life. Milburn reveals to the men that he is Clay's lawyer and is looking for evidence against Kruger. When Kruger suddenly appears after digging his way out of the mine, Tippy, one of the miners, reveals Milburn's identity to Kruger and also betrays Peters. Kruger then offers all the miners shares in the gold and allows them to beat up Tippy as a traitor. When Clay arrives at the mine with his men, a gunfight breaks out. Meanwhile, Judith and Peters are forced to return when they discover that Kruger had salted the water bags on the wagon. When Judith and Peters arrive at the mine, they find that it has burned down, Clay is dead and Milburn is badly injured. Kruger, however, has survived. During an ensuing fight between Kruger and Peters, the mine collapses, killing Kruger. Judith, Milburn and Peters then leave together for town, planning to make their amends to society.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Western
Release Date
Apr 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,771ft

Articles

Barricade


The Wild West is an unlikely location for staging for a remake of the Jack London novel "The Sea-Wolf", about a shipwrecked writer rescued by a Nietzschean sea captain. This time the writer is a cowboy (Dane Clark, star of several undistinguished B noirs) and his frightening and compelling "rescuer" is the gold mine owner Boss Kruger (Raymond Massey) who forces the injured cowboy to join his crew of enslaved lost men, while enthralling him with philosophical inquiries as to the true nature of power. Massey (who had worked with director Peter Godfrey before in Hotel Berlin (1945), as a Nazi adrift in the final hours of the Third Reich) was regarded in his era as the definitive stage and screen interpretation of Abraham Lincoln. Here, his crooked mouth and prodigious height animate an entirely different kind of character, one whose monstrous, seductive magnetism overshadows the rest of the film. The original story's location change from surf to turf didn't impress critics, but modern eyes can enjoy Massey's performance as one of the more compelling villians in this unusual Western.

By Violet LeVoit
Barricade

Barricade

The Wild West is an unlikely location for staging for a remake of the Jack London novel "The Sea-Wolf", about a shipwrecked writer rescued by a Nietzschean sea captain. This time the writer is a cowboy (Dane Clark, star of several undistinguished B noirs) and his frightening and compelling "rescuer" is the gold mine owner Boss Kruger (Raymond Massey) who forces the injured cowboy to join his crew of enslaved lost men, while enthralling him with philosophical inquiries as to the true nature of power. Massey (who had worked with director Peter Godfrey before in Hotel Berlin (1945), as a Nazi adrift in the final hours of the Third Reich) was regarded in his era as the definitive stage and screen interpretation of Abraham Lincoln. Here, his crooked mouth and prodigious height animate an entirely different kind of character, one whose monstrous, seductive magnetism overshadows the rest of the film. The original story's location change from surf to turf didn't impress critics, but modern eyes can enjoy Massey's performance as one of the more compelling villians in this unusual Western. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The first reel of the film was missing from the viewed print. A March 15, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Claude Rains was cast in the film, but he does not appear.