Maureen O'Hara stars as THE REDHEAD FROM WYOMING, but although she's always worth watching, this middling Western isn't one of her better outings.
Maureen plays Kate Maxwell, a woman of ambiguous morals who finds herself caught in the middle of a range war. The battle pits Kate's business partner and possible lover Jim (William Bishop) against rancher Duncan (Alexander Scourby). While the battle rages on, Kate falls in love with the dour sheriff (Alex Nicol).
O'Hara does what she can to breathe life into the story; in fact, at times she's so animated that her Irish brogue creeps into her dialogue. Our gal Maureen can ride a wild horse and shoot it out with the best of them, but on the other hand, it doesn't help matters that her character is not someone the audience can sympathize with strongly. She may be a woman looking to make some money, but no one as smart as Kate could possibly be interested in Jim for long or be willing to keep quiet about his cattle rustling.
None of the three male leads are very interesting; Nicol comes off the best of the trio, but he's so low-key he threatens to fade into the scenery at some points. When you add to that a somewhat muddled plotline, you end up with a movie that's not particularly exciting.
Among the supporting cast, handsome young Jack Kelly (MAVERICK) is fairly wasted as Jim's closed-mouthed, black-hatted henchman; I lost count of how many times he reached for his gun in the movie! Dennis Weaver makes a positive impression in a couple brief scenes; Gregg Palmer (Palmer Lee) and Jeanne Cooper are also appealing among the large, fairly bland cast.
The Technicolor cinematography was by regular John Ford cameraman Winton Hoch, but his work here is not particularly notable. The location shooting, incidentally, appears to have been done entirely in Southern California; IMDb credits Agoura.
ThE REDHEAD FROM WYOMING is, in pretty much every regard, simply a run-of-the-mill Western in need of a sharper script and more interesting characters. It intermittently comes to life, but otherwise the film plods along for most of its 77 minutes.
The movie was directed by Lee Sholem, who also directed the much more entertaining B movie EMERGENCY HOSPITAL (1956), seen last month.
THE REDHEAD FROM WYOMING is available on DVD and VHS. It's available from Netflix on either DVD or Instant Play. It's also been shown recently in the movie rotation on Encore Westerns.