Currently Watching: BACKLASH by John Sturges and starring Richard Widmark and Donna Reed!

 

After cutting his teeth on early, relatively frivolous and forgettable comedies, 1949’s THE WALKING HILLS finally saw John Sturges find his niche as an esteemed director of complex, engrossing, dramatic and darkly challenging, yet rousing, action tinged fare. He would go on to do revered classics such as MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL, HOUR OF THE GUN, and THE GREAT ESCAPE.

But even his little known, and seldom seen films, such as MYSTERY STREET and the aforementioned THE WALKING HILLS, are just great and addictive little films, masterfully told. BACKLASH (1956) is in that vein, and starring the great Richard Widmark, and wonderful period character actors, despite being a bit overlong feeling and meandering, the film remains entertaining and recommended.

Grade: B-.

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