Directed by George Sherman, who made a name for himself in the thirties and forties directing B Westerns, and written by Christopher Knopf, perhaps best known for his script for THE EMPEROR OF THE NORTH, HELL BENT FOR LEATHER sometimes runs on the Starz Western channel.
Bizarre as it sounds, this movie is noirishly dark and surreal as we witness Roy hogtied and dragged behind a horse (you can tell in the long shots it’s a dummy). Later, he’s beaten, bloodied and whipped by four of the old lady’s henchmen. Roy’s famous and trusted palomino, Trigger, arrives in the nick of time to save Roy a couple of times, as well as soothing one of the vicious dogs that was wounded during an earlier chase.
It was Robert Nott’s turn to curate our December Western Movie Night this past Sunday and he chose “The Proud Ones” (1956), about a marshal trying to keep order in his town when the first cattle drive arrives. It’s a watchable film in spite of its uneven plotting.
Rogers is remarkable in the lead role. His weathered face shows more about him than any explanation we are given later, but even that is precious little.