Actor John Ireland and his wife Joanne Dru star in this originally released 3-D color Western that was filmed in what appears to be John Ford Country (Monument Valley, Moab). Ireland met his future wife on the set of "Red River" and appeared with her again in "All the Kings Men". While this film is not in the same category with those two cinema classics, it does feature Rod Cameron and a healthy menu of great character actors such as Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, John Dehner, Morris Ankrum, etc. The story centers around Ireland, Dru and her brother (Darryl Hickman) robbing a bank. Eventually Ireland and Dru join Rod Cameron as he leads an expedition complete with camels to survey a new route to California. The group encounters a band of outlaws as well as Apaches along the way that keeps the viewers interest. What I found most interesting was the introduction of Middle East values to the wild west. A conflict result when Dehner, a mule skinner, starts a fight with the Arab camel drivers when he tries to force them to eat pork .... a custom opposed by their religion. Dehner grumbles about the camels constantly and cannot accept the fact that they are necessary for the expedition. I thought the script left something to be desired as the dialog was sometimes humorous when it was not meant to be. An example of this is when Dehner complains to "Big Boy" Williams, "What are you trying to do kill my mules? Standing out in this sun is worse than working them to death!" Williams replies, "The camels seem to be enjoying it." Dehner counters, "They ain't got sense to know better. All this map making is a bunch of buffalo chips. Can't he tell that's a mountain without looking through a spy glass?" Big Boy then shakes his head and says, "Man when they gave out brains in Tennessee...you must have been in New Orleans!" The only thing that saves this film from being less than mediocre is the veteran group of actors, the John Ford type of location, numerous action scenes and the beautiful color employed in the filming.
Edward Beale is in charge of finding a shorter trail across the American desert and to also test the practicality of using camels in the west in this 3-D western. (An actual test once conducted in the Big Bend area of Texas.) Clint MacDoanld, a bank robber one jump ahead of a posse, joins the caravan by posing as a doctor. His sweetheart, Lilly, also comes along and signs on. There is a whole lot of footage of the grueling trek across the desert, but it begins to move when mule-skinner Matt Carroll becomes aware of MacDonald's true profession and he wants the gold from the bank robbery. The Apaches have shied away from attacking the train, because of their fear of the camels, but a camel dies and the jig is up as they lose their fear and here they come. —Les Adams
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 27, 2021 at 11:30 PM