Rocky Mountain (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