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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Law And Jake Wade (1958)

A reformed outlaw (Robert Taylor) is now the respectable sheriff of a small town and engaged to a beautiful woman (Patricia Owens). But his former outlaw partner (Richard Widmark) resurfaces for some unfinished business which includes forcing the sheriff and his fiancee to accompany him through hostile Comanche territory in a search for buried money. Based on the novel by Marvin H. Albert (TONY ROME) and directed by John Sturges (THE GREAT ESCAPE). Sturges had a sure hand when it came to directing westerns. GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL was probably his best but others included ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO and HOUR OF THE GUN. This film is a well done tight western with good performances and Sturges keeps a firm rein on the suspense and tension factors. Taylor is one of those actors who was known more for his looks early in his career but turned into a solid actor as the years progressed. By the 1950s, he was doing some of his best work. Widmark does his specialty, the cold blooded killer and the lovely Owens gets a chance to be more than just "the girl". The handsome CinemaScope lensing is by Robert Surtees (BEN-HUR). With Robert Middleton (very good), Henry Silva and DeForest Kelley.

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