“There’s a difference between men and apples.”
A former border raider (James Stewart) helps a group of settlers — including two beautiful sisters (Julie Adams and Lori Nelson) — cross safely into Oregon while rescuing a vigilante (Arthur Kennedy) who then joins their troupe. When food supplies become scarce due to a gold rush in Portland, Stewart must try to secure their safe shipment back to the settlers — but will Kennedy be lured by the exorbitant prices being offered by miners?
- Anthony Mann Films
- Arthur Kennedy Films
- Jimmy Stewart Films
- Julie Adams Films
- Rock Hudson Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that this “exciting” “second of five westerns Anthony Mann made with James Stewart” centers, “like most Mann westerners”, on men who “can’t escape [their] past”, and “how violent men choose to lead their lives now that the West is becoming civilized”. He writes that the “script by Borden Chase is first-rate”, with “the dialogue between Stewart and Kennedy… particularly strong”, conveying that “each knows what the other is thinking at all times”. Indeed, Stewart and Kennedy make for a fascinating pair of (anti-)heros, with each demonstrating the better or worse part of their natures when confronted by temptation. Tension in the storyline is near-constant, given the confluence of naturally rugged terrain, limited supplies, a small handful of beautiful women, and gold fever infesting men’s hearts and minds. When basic supplies can be sold for 100 times their “natural” cost, will greed outweigh basic decency and respect for human life? That dilemma drives the narrative, which takes place within “excellent cinematography of the beautiful landscape” by Irving Glassberg.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Excellent use of outdoor locales
- An action-packed screenplay
Yes, as another fine outing between Mann and Stewart.