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"Cattle Queen of Montana" is a B movie trying to pass itself off as an A picture. While the colors are nice, the pacing is brisk, and the scenery is beautiful, the movie is hampered by a weak script and cliches that even Barbara Stanwyck's solid screen presence can't quite overcome. Ronald Reagan is competent as a straightforward cowboy. However, he is upstaged by his own hair, which never falls out of place even while battling renegade Blackfeet and cattle rustlers. Stanwyck's hair, now that I think about it, is also picture-perfect throughout all the action. All of the white actors playing Native Americans are weak, and Lance Fuller is especially awkward in the role of Colorados. The movie has a few unintentional laughs thanks to corny lines like "My men love whiskey," a ludicrous attempted rape scene between a thug and Stanwyck, Reagan's amazing ability to shoot guns out of people's hands, and the death scene of a traitorous squaw. If you like run-of-the mill Westerns, this one is good enough. Although Stanwyck and/or Reagan fans will accept it for what it is...the film is not among their best.
Film producer Benedict Bogeaus and veteran director Allan Dwan (Robin Hood 1922) teamed up in the 1950's to give us several films mostly westerns. Among those was the excellent SILVER LODE (1954) and TENNESSEE'S PARTNER (1955) John Payne was the hero of these two, with Ronald Reagan as Tennessee's partner in the second. Both of these are also available through Amazon on VCI Entertainments DVD.
Unlike the above-mentioned movies, CATTLE QUEEN OF MONTANA (1953) seems to have come in for a bit of "stick". Starring Barbara Stanwyck in the title role, no doubt it she cuts a fine figure in western garb and she is the best thing in it, although it has been said elsewhere that she hated it. That maybe true but she is still very watchable against the backdrop of Montana's Glacier National Park. The acclaimed-cinematographer on this film was John Alton who was also responsible for the cinematography in the aforementioned SILVER LODE and TENNNESSEE'S PARTNER.
Miss Stanwyck gives an energetic performance as the woman whose cattle and land are at risk from rustlers and claim jumpers, she is helped by college educated good Indian Colorados (Lance Fuller) and hindered by bad Indian Natchakoa we also have the white-heavy Tom McCord (Gene Evans) and his sidekick Yost (Jack Elam). Thrown in for good measure is a mysterious gunman called Farrell (Ronald Reagan). The Blackfeet Indians hired as extras, were so impressed with Stanwyck (who done her own stunts) they gave her the Indian name of Princess Many Victories and made her a blood sister.
Any film now that starred pre-1981 Ronald Reagan has or should have additional interest because at that time he became the 40th President of the USA. In the film BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) the hero Marty is transported back in time to 1953. On an advertising hoarding is a poster advertising THE CATTLE QUEEN OF MONTANA starring Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Reagan. When Marty (Michael J Fox) was asked by Dr Brown (Christopher Lloyd) "Tell me young man from the future: "Who is the President of the United States in 1985?" Marty replied "Ronald Reagan" amid hoots of laughter from those present--A classic never-to be-forgotten moment of cinema history!
On some shots in the film the colours seem to be a bit faded, but not so much as to spoil your enjoyment. Also included on this DVD is the original theatre trailer as well as restored-trailers for TENNESSEE'S PARTNER and two LONE RANGER movies. All well worth viewing on a wet afternoon.
Fun film; I bought it from Amazon earlier this year as my interest in Reagan movies surfaced.
Some sexual inneuendo, some sexual tension and some cowboy bang-bang stuff.
Plot? Oh, bad cattle thief starting range war with bogus Indians, murders the titular character's daddy and steals the deed to her daddy's ranch, and Reagan, an embedded government agent (working with the cavalry), is on the sneaky case to save the day and snag the girl.
Fabulous color palette and nifty cinematograpy; snappy dialogue.
I liked it very much and have purchased four other Reagan movies this year.
I bought this movie because I use to work on a farm and I love the sound that cattle make. However when I watch I was very please to see the way the stars handle them self considering that this movie was made back in 1954. I thought Barbara Stanwyck who a star in The Big Valley was excellent in her role as Sierra Nevada Jones the woman fighting for her right to the property that her and her husband had. This was also the first movie that I saw that former President Ron Reagan was in before he went into politics. Regan who played the role of gunfighter Farrell was excellent. While Farrell is working for the government is trying to find out whose selling guns to the Indians. Tom McCord who does his usually good job as the bad guy is trying to run Jones out of town so he can control the whole valley
... under the circumstances. It is very cheaply made with ridiculously low resolution, but the feature is a pleasure to watch anyway. Would be mighty fine to have a restored version, but until then, this must do, and it does do.
It runs 88 minutes, has no special features beyond the possibility to jump to the chapters, and no subtitles.