Robert Middleton was a big brutish character actor... We have seen him in "The Silver Chalice" opposite Paul Newman, in "Friendly Persuasion" opposite Gary Cooper and in "Love Me Tender" with Elvis Presley... In "The Proud Ones", he is at his best as the smooth-faced and smooth-spoken saloon owner who tries to have the lawman relieved of his job in order for the town to be wide open for wild business... Middleton makes a considerable impression as Honest John Barrett, distinctive in his dishonesty and insincere manners... He is a thief ready for anything in order to control his lucrative interests, hiring cheap crooks like George Mathews (Dillon) who results a fraud according to his rules... We see him hiring dangerous gunmen willing to slay at any time like Chico (Rodolfo Acosta), who swears to the Marshal that he will kill him one day... The film arouses profound suspicion that we are pushed to ask ourselves why a suspicious man like the Marshal had to shoot someone apparently unarmed from behind and can we justify his action?! ¿Is he, by any chance, a 'trigger-happy' murderer? Jeffrey Hunter performs the mistaken cowboy involved in a sinful act to avenge his father's death with the wrong man... He never believes the rectitude of the Marshal who has a questionable past... Hunter accuses him of killing his father... 'It was either him or me', exclaims Ryan, 'but I never shot an unarmed man in my life.' The climax of the film proves clearly and openly the whole truth to the tormented young man when he confronts Barrett in a showdown... The film wakes up our attention in its development when we discover that the proud Marshall is losing the power of seeing, a serious problem considered suicidal for a lawman who has powerful enemies... With the lovely Virginia Mayo, the good jailer Brennan and the timid O'Connell, "The Proud Ones" is a solid Western, which remembers me a similar one, "The Lonely Man" with Jack Palance and Anthony Perkins...
The Proud Ones
The Proud Ones
Marshal Cass Silver has to deal with his old nemesis, a corrupt gambler, and his hired guns come to town as well as recurring bouts of blindness.
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April 6, 2019