From those wonderful people at Eureka comes #109 in their The Masters of Cinema Series, which brings us the masterful western Man of the West from the great Director Anthony Mann (The Man from Laramie, El Cid, Winchester ’73), a man who has worked with all the greats of the 40’s right through to the late 60’s. This is his 10th western and it shows he knew his craft. It’s based on the book The Border Jumpers (Will C. Brown).
Sit back, get the popcorn out and enjoy a Saturday Matinee in marvellous 1080p. Revel in the action whilst goggling at the scenery and perusing your 44 page booklet that accompanies this Dual-Format release.
Link Jones (Gary Cooper, Sergeant York) is heading for Fort Worth where he hopes to procure a Teacher for the small town in which he has made his home. He has been entrusted with a full years wages for the teacher. They are so far to the West that Link has already ridden for 5 days to get to Crosscut to catch the weekly train. He doesn’t wear a gun but it is stashed away along with the wages in his carpet bag. The local sheriff thinks that he has seen Link before but he flatly denies any knowledge of a Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb, Boomerang). Once on board he is pestered by a man Sam Beasley (Arthur O’Connell, Fantastic Voyage) who asks a lot of questions about his business in Fort Worth and when he finds out about the teacher you can see the light-bulb go on behind his eyes as he introduces Link to Miss Billie Ellis (Julie London, Saddle the Wind), a bar room singer and also a teacher. Handy, but soon they are approaching a water and log stop which requires all male hands to the task at hand, all apart from the shifty looking man across the carriage who is asleep.
It soon all goes haywire as there have been some robbers lying in wait for the train and as they try to rob it the lone guard starts to fire back and fend them off whilst the train pulls away and the shifty man gets shot in the back and Link, Sam and Billie are left stranded.
They are a hundred miles from Crosscut and a lot further to Fort Worth. Sam has a twisted ankle and Billie is in heels. It’s going to be awkward getting anywhere so Link takes the lead and soon they come across what appears to be an abandoned farmstead. Sam and Billie go to the barn and await Link. What he comes across is Dock Tobin and his cohorts Coaley (Jack Lord, Dr No), Ponch (Robert J. Wilke, High Noon), Trout (Royal Dano, The Outlaw Josey Wales) with Claude (John Dehner, The Lincoln Conspiracy) on the way. They are a mean set of villains and cousins.
How will Link and the others get through the ordeal of a life time?