Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tonight's Movie: The Proud Ones (1956)

THE PROUD ONES is a solid, absorbing Western with echoes of HIGH NOON. Robert Ryan plays Marshal Cass Silver, whose town is visited by old enemies just as his vision is going bad. The marshal's fiancee (Virginia Mayo) begs him to leave town with her, and the townspeople would just as soon not have any "trouble," but Marshal Silver is determined to meet his responsibility and face the men who would see him dead.

The marshal is backed only by a hotheaded new young deputy, played by Jeffrey Hunter (in somewhat of a variation on his fiery Martin Pawley in the same year's THE SEARCHERS). The deputy once had a grudge against Silver, blaming the marshal for his father's death. Can the younger man be trusted to back the marshal up?

Ryan is always an interesting actor to watch, and the gradual growth of his character's relationship with Hunter's deputy is perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the film.

Walter Brennan costars in a scene-stealing role as the marshal's faithful jailer, a role somewhat similar to the one he would play in 1959's RIO BRAVO. The supporting cast also includes familiar faces such as Arthur O'Connell, Edward Platt, Rodolfo Acosta, and Richard Deacon.

THE PROUD ONES runs 94 minutes. It was filmed in color and shot in CinemaScope. The director was Robert D. Webb. Like THE LAST WAGON, THE PROUD ONES has a distinctive score by Lionel Newman.

THE PROUD ONES is available on DVD. The DVD includes both widescreen and pan and scan options.


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