Rocky Mountain (Keighley, 1950)

Rocky Mountain (William Keighley, 1950)

A visual treat of a western, made even more impressive by the fact that most of this film takes place on the same rock. Keighley films at day, in deep focus, providing breathtaking landscapes and cloud formations to dance in each background; he films at dusk, with the beauty of the hard shadows created with the falling of the sun; and he films at night, unafraid to shoot silhouettes instead of fully recognizable faces. It’s a treat watching the cinematography create such an authentic atmosphere.

Additionally, the story is crafted in such a way where tension is built on top of tension creating a claustrophobic effect. There is no real chance to breathe a sigh of relief, take a moment to relax, or be off guard for anyone. It’s honestly some of the most successful and realistic conflict created through circumstance I’ve seen, and it’s a good thing because the character interactions, and many questionable performances,  leave something to be desired.  8.75/10

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5 Responses to “Rocky Mountain (Keighley, 1950)”

  1. How come they’re stuck on top of the rock? Reminds me, or at least what you’ve suggested from your review, of Enchanted Rock near where I live in Texas (a giant exposed granite dome). A single man held of an attack by Indians from the top in the late 19th century….

    • chrisfilm Says:

      For a large part, they aren’t stuck; that’s just where the movie takes place. I think the entire thing only covers 2 days of time. And it’s more of a big-ish rock formation than a boulder they all crammed on. 🙂

      • Hehe, enchanted rock is a gigantic formation — millions upon millions of boulders 😉

        Here are some massive boulders on top of the dome.

        So, there are three massive humps like this one and a bunch of minor ones.

        And some people about to climb to the top.

        I generally hate the landscape of my state but, Enchanted rock is really special.

      • And there are cool ponds on the very top with a great vista. I can imagine being stuck up there with Indians attempting to attack me 😉

  2. chrisfilm Says:

    Wow, that’s amazing. Such beauty. Yeah, this rock in this film is actually smaller.

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