Sunday, September 19, 2010


In the old West, Ben Johnson and his young blond sidekick Harry Carey Jr. are horse traders, not above using a little orneriness and chicanery to get by. While biding time in a small frontier town, they decide to accept an offer from a Mormon elder (Ward Bond) to lead a group of Mormon families, who are being run out of town, on a wagon train to Utah. Along the way, they pick up the members of a stranded medicine show (including Joanne Dru, who slowly becomes Johnson's love interest), run across some Navajos (who think they remember being cheated by Johnson some time back), and are forced to help a small band of outlaws whose leader (Charles Kemper) is seriously wounded. This episodic western is predictable and a little light in the plotting department, but has some good acting, especially from Johnson and Bond, and is beautifully shot in Monument Valley in Utah. Good support comes from Alan Mowbray as the stiff-upper-lip Brit who runs the medicine show and Jane Darwell as a likable Mormon matriarch. A somewhat lesser entry in John Ford's career, but enjoyable. (Pictured are, from left to right, Johnson, Bond, and Carey.) [DVD]

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