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Friday, April 30, 2010

Barricade (1950)

Tidy little western eschews, for the most part, all the western clichés. Most likely because it’s based on Jack London’s THE SEA WOLF but transposed to the Old West. The transition is seamless because if one weren’t aware of the original source material, you’d never know. It doesn’t have the awkward feel that adaptations sometimes have when removed from their natural settings. Three strangers , two (Dane Clark, Ruth Roman) on the run from the law and the third (Robert Douglas) with a secret, find themselves stranded in a mining camp in the middle of nowhere run by a sadistic egomaniac (Raymond Massey, excellent) without any avenue of escape. Shot in bright Technicolor, it perhaps might have been better served if filmed in black and white but as a western, it’s several notches above average.

2 comments:

  1. I kept finding it funny (ha-ha and weird funny) how much this western was like the sea going movie version, which I know so well, while this is new to me. Maybe that was what I have to make myself not do and watch it again because it might be why the movie felt awkward, the constant comparisons. It is not fair to the movie makers of either film to do that, anyway.

    Why did you find it above the average western?
    The reason I enjoyed it were the performances. I can watch Raymond Massey or Dane Clark in anything and Ruth Roman was not too bad either.

    addie B)

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  2. Addie B, let me apologize for taking so long to reply to you. I didn't see your comment until today. Very sorry.

    I thought BARRICADE was an above average western because it didn't fall back on the traditional trappings of the western therefore keeping it from falling into the cliches of the genre. No doubt this was due to its literary antecedent.

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