Vengeance Valley Reviews
It features a good performance from Burt Lancaster in his first western role, proving that he's a good actor for the genre. Vengeance Valley also had some good shootout sequences.
It also ended on a good dramatic note and had the ideal soundtrack to set the atmosphere.
However, it's nothing special to the genre.
It features a plotline thats too simple to even bother following and is paced incredibly slowly.
It doesen't feature much creativity and is rather simplistic, and the fight sequences feature qualities that may have been decent back in 1951, but are laughable by today's standards.
It also failed to supply a sufficient amount of continuous action scenes which are stereotypical in the genre and is fairly disapponting due to that. No doubt Vengeance Valley was low budget.
So in the end, Vengeance Valley presents nothing special to the western genre, but it gives a kickstart to Burt Lancaster who is clearly good for the role.
(1951) Vengeance Valley
Needs major edits for the story sometimes drags about an self-absorbed conceited actual son (Robert Walker) and an adopted son (Burt Lancaster) bickering and arguing over girls and land ownership! That although the film has a good ending, it took way too long to get there with it's meandering! The use of a "Fast- Forward" button is much needed for this film!
2 out of 4
"When you're loyal to a man, you're loyal to everything about him. Even his faults."
Those too fight over the love of their "father", the love of a woman, and the ranch possession.
It's given a little more oomph by the two leads. Burt Lancaster is the almost-too-perfect adopted son Owen Daybright, running the gamut from charming to kickass to conflicted and brooding (and amusingly keeping his broad NY accent right through). Robert Walker, in one of his last roles, is the cheating, lying, double-crossing biological son Lee Strobie - allegedly the role that got him his legendary part in Hitch's "Strangers on a Train", and beginning to show that same captivating menace. Genre standby John Ireland delivers his usual charismatic bad-boy performance, too.
The film's view of its female characters is actually pretty progressive, which is good to see. However, the love story with Joanne Dru doesn't exactly take off, especially as the boys leave for the hills halfway through the film - allowing for some quite beautiful classic Western scenes, including one striking shot of a long string of cattle under the line of a cliff. The showdown at the end, and the resolution after, seems somewhat truncated however. All-in-all, an entertaining if not outstanding Western.