A story of a range-war in the Texas Panhandle in which the 'bad' brother villain fights for what is right...and commits murder in its name, and the 'good' brother hero sanctions wholesale cattle rusting and, reluctantly in the end, comes to the realization that maybe he isn't doing the right thing.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Despite having everything in its favor, "The Sundowners," with great cast, good story, gorgeous scenery, is still slow and tame.
No tension is ever present. I think how it will finally end is obvious rather early, but you will want to see it through, if only to test your judgment.
Robert Sterling, a good-looking and talented actor, is not someone I had associated with Westerns, but he rides like a cowboy and seems absolutely real.
Robert Preston has done everything, and I mean everything: He is probably still best known for "Professor Harold Hill" in "The Music Man" but he also was the wagon master in "How the West Was Won," and seemed right at home brandishing a whip and heading 'em up.
Chill Wills can't do much wrong. (The ad campaign for him to win an Oscar for his role in "The Alamo" was a major exception, but maybe we can't blame him for that.) His character here is an example of great writing and he, as always, pulls it off perfectly.
Cathy Downs is probably best known for the title role in the moronically a-historical "My Darling Clementine" (it is one my most disliked pieces of history twisting on film), and she died terribly young, 26 years after this film. She was a lovely and capable actress, and her character too was different and an example of good writing.
Her character was the wife of the one played by Jack Elam, who had a different role for him. You might want to watch "The Sundowners" just to see Jack Elam in this unusual part, and to see how talented an actor he was.
John Litel was a veteran performer, and always so believable, whether on horseback or as Thomas Jefferson or as the boss of the Secret Service. He is one of my favorite character actors -- which means one of my favorite actors.
That writing, by the way, was by veteran Alan LeMay (known here as Alan Le May), perhaps best known for "The Searchers."
God bless 'em, but Westerns on the Web has this available at YouTube and you should be quick to grab a chance to watch. At no time will you be on the edge of your seat, but you will admire the more than capable cast especially against some of the best scenery Texas has.
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