|Jeb Rand (Robert Mitchum) Remembering The Night Of The Massacre|
This is the kind of film that Anthony Mann would become famous for except here it is directed by Raoul Walsh. It’s a noir western about a vendetta. It begins with Jeb Rand getting ready for battle alongside a woman when he starts to tell us the story. As a child he witnessed the massacre of his family. He was taken in by a member of the family who carried out the massacre and grew up with her son and daughter, but was never truly part of the family. When the son grows up he finds out who Jeb is and what the whole vendetta is about. The son tries to kill Jeb and gets himself killed, sending Jeb into exile from the family. It isn’t long before the rest of the family come to finish the job by killing Jeb.
The whole film finds Jeb haunted by the night of the massacre. Particularly, little details like the spurs on the boots. He is a tough man and can take care of himself, but at the beginning of the film which becomes the end of the film, the weight of the vendetta that he doesn’t even understand has taken it’s toll. It’s a dark film that can get a little annoying because you don’t understand the vendetta until the very end of the film and when you do it’s underwhelming. I still recommend it.