All posts by HarlowGold

Fan of classic films and film stars, favorites include Joan Crawford, Conrad Veidt, Jean Harlow, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., George Raft, Joseph Cotten, Richad Conte, Aldo Ray, Lana Turner, Ann-Margret, John Garfield, Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Alain Delon, Alan Arkin, John Phillip Law, Yul Brynner, Richard Harris, Frank Finlay, Fredric March, Trevor Howard, Zachary Scott, Dirk Bogarde, Stephen Boyd, Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Natalie Wood, Simon Ward, John Fraser, Ava Gardner, Sylvia Sidney, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, Oskar Werner, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger and Romy Schneider and so many more.

Alan Ladd and Veronic Lake caricature

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RUDOLPH MATE’S BRANDED (1950)

ALFRED EAKER

Branded (1950) lobby card

Rudolph Maté’s Branded emerged at the dawn of the 1950′s. It stars Alan Ladd and is little remembered today, due in part to Ladd’s being cast in George Stevens’ phenomenally popular Shane a mere three years later. I do not side with the consensus of contemporary criticism in the reassessment that says Stevens’ classic is overrated, just as I will not concede to revisionist opinions regarding High Noon (1952), although I do believe there were, and still are, better westerns: Henry King’s The Gunfighter, Budd Boetticher’s‘ The Tall T, or Anthony Mann’s Naked Spur. However,Branded is as almost as good as the film which sealed the surprising superstardom of Ladd.

Branded (1950) Alan Ladd. theatrical poster

There is something quintessentially cinematic and mythic in the image of a man on a horse under an expansive sky. Branded fills that bill to the Technicolor brim, contradicting an often held opinion that Westerns simply look better…

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