Western Classics Collection

22/05/2006
  |  Buy to Own: 22/05/2006
  |  646 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Collection of seven classic westerns. 'Broken Arrow' (1950) is set in the 1870s, where relations between whites and the Apaches are at an all-time low, with the latter treated unfairly by the frontiersmen. The result is bitter warfare, but there seems to be a hope of peace when Apache sympathiser Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) is called upon to negotiate a treaty with the Native American chief, Cochise (Jeff Chandler). A truce is called, and the two men become firm friends. The new status quo is threatened, however, when Jeffords, his Indian wife (Debra Paget) and Cochise are attacked by renegades. In 'Broken Lance (1954), Spencer Tracy plays the ageing land baron Matt Devereaux, who remarries and then finds that his empire is threatened by brotherly betrayal and acrimonious dispute. 'Garden of Evil' (1954) is set against the backdrop of the gold rush. Three Americans (Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and Cameron Mitchell) are stranded in a small Mexican village on their way to the famed California gold fields. But whilst there, they are offered a huge cash sum to travel with a local woman (Susan Hayward) into the wilderness to rescue her husband, a trapped miner. In 'Western Union' (1941), when former outlaw Vance Shaw (Randolph Scott), ex-outlaw, is hired to protect a line from marauding Indians, he discovers that his outlaw brother Jack Slade (Barton McLane) is leading a band of criminals trying to prevent him from doing so. With two brothers locked in such a furious struggle, there can only be one outcome. In 'Warlock' (1959), director Edward Dmytryk balances allegory and action. Terrorised by a gang of thugs, the inhabitants of the town of Warlock decide to hire the famous gunman Clay Blaisdell (Henry Fonda) to act as marshal and clean up the town. When some of the townspeople, suspicious of Blaisdell, hire reformed thug Johnny Gannon (Widmark) as the official Sheriff, the town becomes embroiled in a power struggle between two men of dubious morality. In 'Forty Guns' (1957), Barbara Stanwyck stars as Jessica Drummond, an authoritarian rancher who rules Cochise County in Arizona with her private posse of hired guns, brushing aside the authority of the spineless sheriff, Ned Logan (Dean Jagger). However, when a new lawman, Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan) arrives to restore law and order to the county, the cattle queen finds her emotions interfering with her business for the first time as she falls passionately in love with the incomer. Finally, in 'Rancho Notorious' (1952), Vern Haskell's (Arthur Kennedy) life is shattered when his fiancé Beth is raped and murdered by a ruthless gunman. Without knowing the exact identity of the killer he tracks him down to Chuck-a-Luck, a sanctuary for outlaws run by saloon singer Altar Keane (Marlene Dietrich) and her lover Frenchy (Mel Ferrer). Masquerading as a bandit on the run, Vern attempts to uncover his girlfriend's killer, a task which can only be achieved by seducing information out of Altar. Director Fritz Lang adds an expressionistic touch to this unusually dark Western.