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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Rawhide (1951)

A quartet of outlaws (Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, Jack Elam, George Tobias) who've escaped from prison take over a stagecoach station in order to rob a stagecoach of its gold the following day. Their two prisoners, a station worker (Tyrone Power) and a woman passenger (Susan Hayward) with a child (Judy Ann Dunn), fight to stay alive and survive the ordeal. Directed by Henry Hathaway (NORTH TO ALASKA), this is an intense and brutal (for its day) western. By the film's finale, the body count is high. In its way, it's as much a thriller as a western. Jack Elam's creepy bandit is particularly revolting. If he's not trying to rape Hayward, he's gleefully terrorizing the baby girl by shooting at her. Even the usually enervated Hugh Marlowe gives some spark to his performance as the outlaw band's leader. The movie comes in at a lean hour and 27 minutes and there's not an ounce of fat in it. Even if you're not a fan of westerns, this makes for a riveting piece of entertainment. With Edgar Buchanan, Jeff Corey, Kenneth Tobey and Edith Evanson.

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