Combustible Celluloid
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With: Robert Ryan, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson, Judith Braun, John McIntire, Raymond Burr, James Arness, Dennis Weaver, Frances Bavier, Tom Powers, John Hubbard, Rodolfo Acosta, Douglas Fowley, Walter Reed, Raymond Greenleaf, Dan Poore, Frank Chase, Mae Clarke
Written by: Louis Stevens
Directed by: Budd Boetticher
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 81
Date: 10/11/1952

Horizons West (1952)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Brotherly Shove

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This unremarkable Western by the great Budd Boetticher has Robert Ryan and Rock Hudson as brothers Dan and Neil heading home after the Civil War. Neil goes to work on their father's struggling ranch, but Dan gets involved with beautiful bad girl Lorna (the gorgeous Julie Adams, credited as "Julia"), hooks up with a camp-full of outcast gunfighters, and builds his own evil empire. Eventually the brothers must face off, which may have been more interesting if the simmering Ryan had been the good guy and the blandly handsome Hudson had been the bad guy. Boetticher's color cinematography is certainly above average, and he does manage a few interesting shots here and there, but he seems stuck in the limitations of the story and the numerous interior shots. Raymond Burr, James Arness, and Dennis Weaver co-star. Film professor Jim Kitses borrowed the title of this particular movie for his seminal book on the Western genre and its key directors. Kino Lorber released Horizons West on Blu-ray for 2021, with a commentary track by film historian Toby Roan, and a batch of trailers.

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