William Holden (NETWORK, SUNSET BOULEVARD) stars in this rugged Western--based on an actual incident--as a Mexican-Irish rancher who sells his herd to the Union army during the Civil War. An eye-patch-wearing Confederate colonel (Richard Widmark) tries to buy the cattle, but apolitical Kelly doesn't sell to him solely because he doesn't think Confederate money will ever be worth anything. However, the determined colonel kidnaps Kelly and forces him to steal the cattle back and drive them south to his hungry troops down in Virginia. Director Edward Dmytryk (THE CAINE MUTINY) provides the requisite roping, shooting, and punching; Johnny Mercer songs set the mood. There's also some romantic double-crossing as mansion owner Charity Warwick (Victoria Shaw) helps the colonel trap Kelly, who later repays the favor by wooing the colonel's frustrated sweetheart (Janice Rule). Holden is fairly laconic as Kelly, but Widmark brings furious energy to his role as the colonel. Weather-beaten regulars such as Arthur Franz, Patrick O'Neal, and Roger Carmel round out the cast. It's uneven but enjoyable fare, with the highlight a spectacular cattle stampede.
Civil War |