Classic Film Guide

Rancho Notorious (1952)

Directed by Fritz Lang, with a screenplay by Daniel Taradash (From Here to Eternity (1953)), this above average Western has Marlene Dietrich playing a mysterious woman by the name of Altar Keane. Arthur Kennedy is a cowboy on a trail of revenge which eventually leads him to Altar Keane, which at first he isn't sure to which the name refers - a person, place, or thing. It turns out that Keane is a woman who runs a hideout ranch for cattle rustlers and other criminals, the "baddest" of which is Frenchy, played by Mel Ferrer. Kennedy's character infiltrates the ranch and finds he can't resist being attracted to Keane, who's main man is Ferrer's character. Kennedy's character must figure out which of the bandits is responsible for the rape & murder of his woman, as the new rival of Frenchy for Keane. There are a whole bunch of other recognizable faces in this one too, the most familiar being William Frawley (TV's I Love Lucy), George Reeves (TV's Superman), and Western movie veterans Frank Ferguson & google-eyed Jack Elam. Even Emory Parnell appears, uncredited, as one of the sheriffs.

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