Vengeance Valley : The Book - The Film
Now how in the hell was I supposed to know that once I gave Lily Fasken (Sally Forrest) $500 for her and her newborn baby, her brother would mistake me to be the father of her child?
I mean, I'm not like at all. Honestly I'm not. I'm just a humble cattle herder called Owen Daybright (Burt Lancaster), who felt obligated to perform this devilish deed in the first place, because a member of the family that took me in since I was a lad told me to do so.
Hey! Don't get me wrong. I'm not referring the elderly gentlemen that raised me like a son, Arch Strobie (Ray Collins)! Of course I'm referring to his real son -- Lee Strobie (Robert Walker) -- expectant husband to Jen (Joanne Dru), and a right pain the ass once she finds out what he did behind her back.
Granted, Jen doesn't discover the truth about Lee's past transgression the same time I did. One of Lily's brothers, Hub (John Ireland), tries to kill me first. That's when Lee suddenly turn sour and sets a plan in motion involving Hub, the ranch, and a rival cattle poacher, that causes me to look at him in a completely different light.
Still. That's most probably why what next transpires all goes MOO when cows come riding into the prairie. As a scheme is put in motion - a brother turns his back on devotion - some gun-play is primed for a shooting - and at the end of the day a finale comes with quite a bit of commuting.
OK. I know that this may sound rather strange, folks, but with hand on my heart I'd say that '
' reminds me of a Wild West
version of the 'Cain and Abel' parable. Vengeance
Now please don't take my words the wrong way. Cause I did enjoy this film an awful lot. Heck, the only bad thing I can really say about it, is that it did meander in places, plus certain action scenes did come across rather 'processed' upon the screen.
But apart from that though -- nah -- this is one smashing film. Every single one of the actors did a great job performing their respective roles -- especially Burt (wholesome)
who could really throw a mean jab back in the day. The set's appeared very
stoic and well polished considering the time this piece was made -- the early
fifties. And overall, the tale in itself was a very nice tale to follow -- mainly
because everyone's motives seemed relatable by nature, even though here and
there certain character trait's were very one dimensional in tone.
Now before I bugger off to pastures new, dear reader, the last thing I'd like to say about '
' is that it did prove to me
that story and character are paramount in making a very magical movie. You
don't need special effects or flavors of the month to tell a great tale. Hell
no. What you need is a story that unfolds a scene at a time, actors
that can inhabit the roles they are playing, plus a steady flow of dialogue or
voice-over narration that engages with the audience, and tells us that life is
what you make of it, but only if you face up to the truth without lying. Vengeance
And with that, my friends... Nuff said.
THE RATING: A