DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

SIERRA (director: Alfred E. Green; screenwriters: Edna Anhalt/Milton Gunzberg/from the novel Mountains Are My Kingdom by Stuart Hardy; cinematographer: Ralph Metty; editor: Ted Kent; music:  Walter Scharf; cast: Audie Murphy (Ring Hassard), Dean Jagger (Jeff Hassard), Wanda Hendrix (Riley Martin), Richard Rober (Big Matt Ringo), Burl Ives (Lonesome), Elliott Reid (Duke Lafferty), Tony Curtis (Brent Coulter), Roy Roberts (Sheriff Knudsen), Erskine Sanford (Judge Prentiss), Griff Barnett (Dr. Robbins), Houseley Stevenson (Sam Coulter), John Doucette (Jed Coulter), Ted Jordan (Jim Coulter), Jim Arness (Sam Coulter), Sara Allgood (Mrs. Jonas), Elisabeth Risdon (Aunt Susan); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael Kraike; Universal-International; 1950)

"Unconvincing Western unimaginatively directed by Alfred E. Green."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Unconvincing Western unimaginatively directed by Alfred E. Green ("Baby Face"/"The Jolson Story"/"Top Banana"). It's written by Edna Anhalt & Milton Gunzberg, and is based on the novel Mountains Are My Kingdom by Stuart Hardy. Slow-paced and dull, enlivened only by a medley of Burl Ives folk songs and the beautiful location photography by Ralph Metty. A young Audie Murphy, the former war hero, has a strong physical presence but is limited in range as an actor.

The story has Jeff Hassard (Dean Jagger) falsely accused of murder years ago, hiding out with his angry young son Ring (Audie Murphy) in the hills of Sierra Vista, where they break wild mustangs. When tomboy lawyer Riley Martin (Wanda Hendrix) gets lost in the hills she stumbles upon the father and son. Trying to bring the upper-crust gal home and trying to get medical help for his dying dad, results in Riley taking the case to prove Jeff innocent.

Warning: spoiler in next paragraph.

Burl Ives plays a singing prospector who also lives in the hills. Richard Rober plays the villain, a crooked ranch foreman who rustles horses and in a deathbed confession confesses he killed Harvey Jonas and not Jeff.

REVIEWED ON 8/2/2013       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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