I'm always fascinated by a movie star's early work and even more so with Audie Murphy because this was just 5 years after his heroics in WWII. It's amazing to think how much transition this young man went through in only a handful of years. Murphy is a natural fit for Westerns with his quiet manner and brooding looks. Sierra is not often shown on television, but if you have the chance to catch it, you won't be disappointed. I'd say watch for Burl Ives alone, because his voice was timeless. Such beautiful simple little Western melodies are peppered throughout the film. What's also unique about Sierra is that Murphy is costarred by his then-wife Wanda Hendrix. Their marriage didn't last long, but their chemistry is very obvious. And keep your eyes peeled for a young Anthony "Tony" Curtis as a Coulter gang member.
Ring Hassard and father Jeff, wild horse breakers, live in a hidden mountain eyrie because Jeff is wanted for a murder he didn't commit. But things change when they take in a lost young lady, Riley Martin, who finds that Ring has "never seen a woman close up." Jeff is injured, Ring runs afoul of horse thieves and the law, and Riley (who turns out to be a lawyer) labors to clear the Hassards; but others would prefer them dead. —Rod Crawford
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