From Columbia pictures comes this early film in the career of two actors who would rise to prominence in the fifties. William Holden and Glenn Ford. Playing a couple of saddle tramps after the civil war has ended they find themselves drifting to the state of Texas. While making the journey we get a comical interlude of Holden in a boxing ring with Ford his corner man who has very little confidence in his fighting partner. After witnessing a stagecoach robbery they in turn hijack the outlaws. Before they can return the loot to the local authorities they themselves are the suspected criminals. From here the film sticks to light comedy with Holden bumping into leading lady Claire Trevor in the films funniest bit. Trevor was of course a perfect choice for western women after her success opposite the Duke in Stagecoach in 1939. For the remaining hour we shift to more traditional western themes.
Glenn Ford mainly plays second fiddle to Holden this time out as Bill gets the flashier role swaying to the side of an outlaws life while Glenn drifts into becoming a leading citizen in the town they settle in. Ford has his cap set for Claire but his plans turn upside down when Holden suddenly turns up again. Cattle rustling, gun draws and square dances called by Edgar Buchanan fill out this westerns 93 minute running time from director George Marshall. Marshall was a work horse director who by my count worked with Glenn on eight films and even his Cade’s County television show in the seventies.
Both Holden and Ford would see there careers put on hold after enlisting in WW2. They would be off movie screens for the the better part of 3 years. Columbia would eventually re-team them again in 1948 for a western that I am not overly fond of called The Man From Colorado. Ford played a villain in that one and for me it just doesn’t work. Raspy Edgar Buchanan is always a welcome sight when it comes to the west as he is one of those Slim Pickens stye of actors that was perfectly cast in most oaters.
Not a bad effort here at a time when westerns were still trying to define themselves from being more than the lower half of double bills by casting a couple of up and comers in Holden and Ford.