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Friday, September 20, 2013

Garden Of Evil (1954)

Three adventurers (Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark, Cameron Mitchell) on route to California to prospect for gold find themselves stranded in a seaside Mexican village when their ship breaks down. But when a desperate woman (Susan Hayward) pleas for help to free her injured husband (Hugh Marlowe) who's trapped in a gold mine several days' ride away, they agree to help her for a price. Getting there is relatively easy, getting out will be harder as Apaches pick them off one by one. This is a wonderful western! Though it's not particularly original or insightful, it's got a fairly intelligent screenplay, a generous dose of star power, terrific locations (shot in the more verdant regions of Mexico), handsome CinemaScope lensing by Milton Krasner and Jorge Stahl Jr., an excellent directional stereo sound mix and a killer score by Bernard Herrmann (his only film score for a western) that elevates the picture. Even if you not a fan of westerns, there's much to enjoy. Directed by Henry Hathaway, an old hand at westerns. With Rita Moreno and Victor Madariaga.

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