Blood on the Moon (Wise, 1948)

Blood on the Moon (Robert Wise, 1948)

Drenched in irony, shadows, and Robert Mitchum suave. And when I say suave, I mean the ability to passionately exude a calm, collected, and natural presence despite being hurled into a deep and complex feud. He is fantastic as a man who doesn’t really know what he’s been called in to assist with but quickly decides there is only one way to handle it. With the protagonist taking a firm stance on one side of the feud, it’s easy to see the film as promoting that side. But I’m not so sure there really is a “good” side in this battle, and therein lies the irony. There is so much confident finger-wagging across the board almost exclusively from characters with as many flaws as those they are condoning. It’s a grand and accurate display of human nature. And speaking of grand displays, the use of shadow here is flawless, and the many other beautifully shot settings (dirt road town, a high-class saloon, a worn-down saloon, snow-covered hills, dust-covered plains, etc) help create an atmosphere that is incredibly easy to get lost in. I just wish I could have found more screenshots.  9.25/10

blood on the moon

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