Skip to content

The Man From Bitter Ridge (1955)

There is something about the Universal-International output of fifties westerns that I find keeps me coming back for more. They’re mostly “B”s featuring a cast of recognizable character actors surrounding a second tier star or two in most cases. This outing is no different and like so many others from the studio, totally watchable.

themanfrombitterridge72

Thanks to youbtube I caught up with this color feature from famed director Jack Arnold. The all too familiar plot involves the likes of Lex Barker, Stephen McNally, Mara Corday and John Dehner as the principle leads.

From the outset we find a stagecoach robbery in action and a passenger gunned down. The gang rides off stage left. Entering stage right and looking like a model for a GQ ad atop a horse is clean cut heroic looking Lex Barker in a red shirt and black hat. As he rides through some brush he gets bushwacked by veteran western star Ray Teal. Teal swaps horses and rides off.

Lex has been left a lame horse and quickly finds himself in cuffs. It seems he’s been mistaken for Teal thanks to the horse and arrested for suspicion of murder and the robbery. By the time he’s brought to town the lynch mob is gathering and wouldn’t you just know it, John Dehner turns up demanding a quick trial and hanging.

dehner ridge

Dehner as we can expect isn’t too trustworthy and in a role he can play in his sleep he’s a power hungry hombre in a suit running for sheriff and looking to lay the blame for the recent spat of stagecoach heists on Stephen McNally and his group of homesteaders who have herds of sheep.

Soon enough Lex is proved innocent of any wrong doing and to Dehner’s chagrin turns out to be an undercover agent looking to bust the ring of thefts. Barker knows exactly what’s going on, he just needs the proof to put Dehner and his hot headed brother Warren Stevens away.

Turning to McNally for help, Lex comes into contact with Mara Corday. Naturally he’s smitten and quickly finds himself at odds with McNally over the fair ladies hand. All this leads to one of those great exchanges that gets me chuckling involving our trio of stars.

bitter ridge

Barker : “As long as she’s got a miss in front of her name I figure she’s open range.”

McNally : “I put a fence around her long ago.”

Corday : “The next thing you’ll want to do is put a brand on my flank.”

McNally : “Not a bad idea at that.”

mcnally

By the time we have our showdown featuring plenty of gunfire and corpses the love triangle will be rectified and Dehner put in his place.

Fantasy film fans know director Arnold from the slate of thrillers he did including the now classic Creature From the Black Lagoon but he did plenty of other titles during his association with the studio in question including the above average Man In The Shadow where he directed Orson Welles.

A nice bit of trivia is that leading lady Mara Corday years later turned up in long time friend Clint Eastwood projects. She’s the lady in Sudden Impact who puts a little too much sugar in Clint’s coffee. “A lot of sugar.”

lexbarker44

Barker makes a decent leading man in westerns and fit other genre’s just as well. Tarzan the most prominent name on his resume. McNally fits in the western frontier perfectly as he did in Noir and gangland titles. It’s always a pleasure to see him turn up and when I came across this on youtube it was his name that nudged me to press play.

If westerns are your thing then here’s another variation on the same plot done repeatedly but with an energetic cast of favorites making the exercise fun and refreshing.

4 Comments »

  1. I just scanned this post really as I have a copy of this movie but haven’t watched it yet. Hard to go wrong with a cast and crew like that though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: