Jubal

Probably the least familiar of Delmer Daves's run of superior Westerns in the fifties, Jubal is a gripping and intense drama of jealousy and power-supposedly a take on Othello-played out against the spectacular Grand Teton landscapes of Wyoming, with the superb Glenn Ford giving one of his best performances in any genre. . . . Ford is an outcast, rejected by his own mother (who blames him for the death by drowning of his father), taken in by decent rancher Ernest Borgnine. There he finds himself in double jeopardy in the shape of Borgnine's vampiric wife (Valerie French) and her rejected lover, Rod Steiger, whose whining hostility makes his Poor Jud in Oklahoma! look like the boy next door. Steiger persuades Borgnine that French is making up to Ford, provoking a series of violent confrontations and outcomes which leave Ford with more emotional issues than he started with. Moody, grim and realistic, with Daves's characteristic swooping camera racking up the tension, Jubal has a depth unusual in a Western, and that's not just down to Shakespeare.

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