Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1954. Republic Pictures. Screenplay by Philip Yordan, based on the novel by Roy Chanslor. Cinematography by Harry Stradling Sr.. Produced by Nicholas Ray. Music by Victor Young. Production Design by James W. Sullivan. Costume Design by Sheila O’Brien. Film Editing by Richard L. Van Enger.
Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge have a hoot of a time shooting it up in this fantastic female-led western. Crawford plays a saloon owner who has to protect her territory from land-owning, money-hungry McCambridge when a prospective railway construction jacks up the territory prices all around them. Between personal bouts, Joan manages to throw a look over at the title character (Sterling Hayden) when she’s not too busy, a tall guitar-playin’ fella with a mighty big instrument. Audiences just love it when she puts on that black shirt! Peggy Lee sings the title song.