Branded

1950

Action / Adventure / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 50%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 866

gunfighter

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Director

Top cast

Mona Freeman as Ruth Lavery
Alan Ladd as Choya
Milburn Stone as Dawson

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 / 10

Thanks to a strong story and some enthusiastic performances, "Branded" remains as one of Alan Ladd's top westerns

The opening scenes set the tone of the film… Ladd, an itinerant gunman known simply as Choya and with the aid of a tattooed birthmark, passes himself off as the lost son and is accepted wholeheartedly by the parents (Bickford and Royle) and Ruth (Freeman), the man's sister…

Ruth had responded to his arrival on the ranch as any pretty woman would respond to a mysterious, handsome stranger, but she rapidly sets right to the fact that he is a relative…

As soon as he is welcomed as Richard Jr, however, something happens to Choya… As a member of a loving family, Choya experiences feelings denied him by his own childhood and became increasingly sickened by his contribution in the tricking…

Leading a cattle drive to El Paso, Choya decides to give up his charade revealing his true identity to Ruth, who turns on him with consternation and antagonism… There remains only one way to redeem himself and make up for the distressing emotion he has caused the Lavery family: To find their real son…

All the elements in "Branded" are taken directly from the straight-shooting school of Western movies… Choya, despite his confession to Ruth that he is a "four-flushin' thief," is true-blue outlaw hero… The smart Leffingwell has him classified correctly: "You won't hit an older man. You ain't the kind that'll draw first, or shoot a man in the back." Even with the rules thus outlined, Ladd still has a chance to present his standard beguiling bad guy early in the film, merely holding back a victorious smile as he pretends confusion over the elder Lavery's excited reaction to his birthmark…

Besides its other values, "Branded" is a visual delight… In fact, the movie's one drawback as a Western entertainment is a lack of big action highlights

Reviewed by planktonrules 8 / 10

A solid Western--one of Alan Ladd's best

Too seldom do I find a Western that I really like. That's because almost every film in the genre seems to consist of only about 5 or 10 plots (or less). All too often, the films are about greedy guys trying to chase good people off their land, a gunman who just needs killing, or something similar. That's why when I see something different I am excited--and this film, fortunately, has a lot to offer that is different and worth seeing.

The film begins with a dirt-bag (Robert Keith) recruiting gunman Alan Ladd for a big score. However, it's not the typical bank or train robbery or mercenary killing you'd expect. Instead, Keith knows about a rich but sad family that has been pining for their lost son for decades--a lost son who is about the same age and look as Ladd. THe kid was kidnapped and then assumed murdered when he was quite young. Ladd will pretend to be the boy and the only thing missing is a birthmark--and that is soon added by giving Ladd a tattoo that looks identical. All Ladd now has to do is go to this huge ranch and "claim his natural birthright".

Well, things work out very well. Ladd "accidentally" lets this rich rancher see the birthmark and he is welcomed back as their long-lost boy. The problem is that although Ladd is a hothead with a checkered past, he's too decent to keep up the ruse--though Keith is now angry enough to eat hornets because he was counting on this big payoff. Despite threats from Keith, Ladd leaves the ranch and goes in search of who might actually be the boy all grown up and unaware of his past. It's dangerous, though, as Keith AND the bandit who raised the boy aren't about to let Ladd take this guy back to his real parents. Will Ladd and the young man make it out alive or will they be pushing up the daisies? See for yourself and find out what happens next.

The film was the first directorial effort of cinematographer Rudolph Maté and it shows. No, I don't mean the direction was bad but that the film had a really nice look--a nice bigger than life look of the great outdoors. You could tell that Maté really had "the eye" when he made this film.

Apart from an excellent script and direction, the film has pretty good acting as well. Ladd is a little better than usual and he's got excellent support from Keith, Charles Bickford and Joseph Calleia. Everything together made for a very good film.

By the way, the excellent character actor Robert Keith has a particularly gritty supporting role---real gritty. I have always enjoyed him in films and he plays one of the meanest and nastiest characters I've ever seen him play. It's a nice change of pace for a very good but under-appreciated actor and the scene with his partner on horseback near the beginning of the film is priceless.

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 / 10

A gunslinger called Choya/Alan Ladd impersonates the son of wealthy rancher/Charles Bickford with unexpected results

This horse-opera is an excellent , meaty Western ; it contains interesting plot , intrigue , thrills , shootouts and results to be quite entertaining . A gunfighter (Alan Ladd) named Choya (as someone obligingly explains Choya is Spanish for cactus) along with a swindler (Robert Keith) take part in a scheme to bilk a rich cattle family (formed by father , Charles Bickford , mother, and daughter , the feisty Mona Freeman) out of half a million dollars by pretending to be their son, who was kidnapped as child . As tough Choya (in fact, when asked if he has some friends he answers : ¨My guns¨) impersonates the long-gone son of wealthy rancher .

The picture gets action Western , shootouts , a familiar drama and is entertaining and well realized . A fairly gripping film ,being probably one of the best Western in the fifties , including frenetic action up and down . Nicely balanced thrills , intrigue , drama and a love story . The highlights of the film in the course of action are the climatic shoot'em ups , thrilling pursuits and violent fights . The traditional story as well as complex screenplay was rightly written by Sydney Boehm based on a novel by Max Brand . The enjoyable tale is enhanced for interesting moments developed among main characters and especially on the relationship between Alan Ladd, pre-Shane, and Mona Freeman , the prettiest of heroines who even played a 60 minute broadcasting radio adaptation of the movie reprising her film role . Magnificently performed by Alan Ladd who proves to be as two-fisted as his name ,Choya, and an old veteran Charles Bickford , they are awesome experts in the art of conjuring sensational acting , here are reunited in this atypical but thought-provoking western with a lot of reflection , distinguished moments and dramatical attitudes , in addition a multitude of entertaining situations . Most of the fun in this one is picking out the locations and identifying stock performers , as there appears several secondaries such as Robert Keith , Peter Hansen , Milburn Stone and veteran actors as Joseph Calleia and Tom Tully giving the stars solid supports . Glamorous as well picturesque cinematography in shinning colour by means of Technicolor ; it is superbly caught by cameraman Charles Lang , though being necessary a correct remastering . Shot on location in Portal, Globe, Salt River Canyon,San Simon,Douglas, Arizona, USA Kanab Canyon, Kanab, Utah, and valley of Rio Grande . Thrilling as well as lively musical score by Roy Webb.

This is another superbly powerful Paramount Western being compellingly directed by Rudolph Mate . He was an expert cameraman and director of the classic D.O.A and filmmaking occasionally for cinema all kind of genres . Polish-born Mate was an assistant cameraman for Alexander Korda and later worked throughout Europe with noted cameraman Karl Freund , director Carl Theodor Dreyer and Erich Pommer . Dreyer was so impressed with his work that they hired him as cinematographer on The Passion of Joan of Arc . Mate was soon working on some of Europe's most prestigious films, cementing his reputation as one of the continent's premier cinematographers. Hollywood came calling in 1935, and Mate shot films there for the next 12 years before turning to directing in 1947. Unfortunately, while many of his directorial efforts were visually impressive ,especially his sci-fi When the worlds collide (1951) , his labour as cameraman was excellent . He realized a variety films of all kind of genres as Adventures : The Black Shield of Falworth , Seven Seas to Calais , Western : Three Violent People , The far horizons , Noir films : Union Station , Second chance .He also directed Epic films as The Barbarians and The 300 Espartans . The films themselves were for the most part undistinguished, with his best work probably being the film-noir classic DOA (1950). ¨Branded¨ rating : Better than average , 7. This is a fair stuff for Alan Ladd fans and Western buffs . Well worth watching .

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