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January 6th, 2013

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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (16 votes)

Released: 2012-11-20

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Ramrod by Olive Films


Movie Details

Andre De Toth
Olive Films
NR (Not Rated)

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This western from legendary director Andre De Toth (House of Wax) was the first of several films based on the stories of western author Luke Short (Silver City). Western legend Joel McCrea (Ride the High Country) stars as a veteran cowhand Dave Nash, who's hired by Connie Dickason (Veronica Lake), a strong-willed daughter of Ben Dickason (Charles Ruggles), a ranch owner who has become the toady of a powerful local cattleman, Frank Ivey (Preston Foster), whom Ben once wanted Connie to marry. Connie has inherited a sheep ranch from her ex-husband and is determined to run the ranch with the help of her new Ramrod and his crew of anti-Ivey locals despite the opposition of Ivey and her father. The resulting bloody range war is much to the dismay of Dave, who wants to resolve Connie's problems with Ivey legally. The Stellar cast includes Dan DeFore, Donald Crisp, Arleen Whelan and Lloyd Bridges.


  • Joel McCrea
  • Veronica Lake
  • Don DeFore
  • Donald Crisp
  • Lloyd Bridges


  • Black & White
  • NTSC

Editorial Review

An esteemed educator in L.A. used to show Ramrod to his film noir classes. A Joel McCrea Western a film noir? Few noirs come packing more deception, betrayal, ambiguity (psychological and narrative), and sadism (physical and psychological). Add a camera strategy that habitually latches on to a character and backtracks before him as he enters an unknown environment, and you've got a fine study in (fully justified) frontier paranoia. André De Toth claimed that the assignment was handed off to him by John Ford, no less. There's nothing Fordian about Ramrod, but it does anticipate the run of edgy Westerns that De Toth would direct in the '50s. Excellent cast, including Mrs. De Toth (Veronica Lake) as a femme fatale with father issues; a distinctive, sharply imagined Western town; an innovative sound mix attentive to nature and environment; and strong cinematography by Russell Harlan, soon to become Howard Hawks's favorite cameraman. –Richard T. Jameson

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