Rancho Notorious (1952)

FRITZ LANG

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  

USA, 1952.  Fidelity Pictures Corporation.  Screenplay by , based on the story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by Wiard Ihnen.

Arthur Kennedy is devastated by the murder of his girlfriend when bandits break into the town Assayer’s storage and kill her to get what’s in her safe (pun likely intended).  He follows the trail of the man responsible all the way to a hidden ranch where a former saloon gal () hides men of shady reputation, her great love a bandit () with whom Kennedy becomes friends until he can find the object of his revenge.  Brightly colourful and directed with spirited gusto by Fritz Lang, it’s a silly bit of fluff whose backdrops resembling Bedrock in The Flintstones could either be seen as corny filmmaking or a commentary on the artificial nature of American mythmaking through tales of the west.  Either way, it’s only fun for those who want to see Dietrich’s character from Destry Rides Again move on to her next adventure (though here it is Ferrer who is named Frenchy, not her) or for completists of Lang’s work.

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