Thursday, December 20, 2007

Silver Lode (Allan Dwan, 1954)

***½
USA



Pro sniveller Dan Duryea poses as a US Marshal and storms into the titular town and interrupts a wedding to arrest the humble, respected groom on July 4. Initially the community is outraged but Duryea spreads suspicion and paranoia with terrific panache. A famed gunslinger, the hero is fortunately blessed with Jedi-like indestructibility. Presumably awe-struck, his foes wait for him to duck under cover every time before they start shooting.

Despite the lazy action scenes though, Allan Dwan's B-western is uncommonly involving, both for the tension and sense of inevitability it musters up as well as for its explicit attacks on McCarthyism and mob mentality.

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