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Made in the first flush (1940) of Raoul Walsh's mature, deep-focus style, this noirish western features John Wayne as a frontier marshal who comes up against the raiding parties of an oddly urbane William Quantrill, played by Walter Pidgeon. Walsh's use of the empty, jagged western landscape as a stage for his characters' existential dilemmas here reaches one of its early plateaus, though he hasn't quite yet discovered the nervous intensity in his direction of actors that gives his late work so much of its tension and meaning. With Claire Trevor and a young Roy Rogers.

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