HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
   
 
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
   
 
  Jubal Trouble followed wherever he went
Year: 1956
Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Valerie French, Felicia Farr, Basil Ruysdael, Noah Beery Jr., Charles Bronson, John Dierkes, Jack Elam, Robert Burton
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rancher Shep Horgan (Ernest Borgnine) finds troubled wanderer Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) injured in the woods. He gives him shelter then offers him a job as a cow-hand. Jubal's honesty and hard-work quickly gain Shep's trust along with the admiration of the boss' beautiful French-Canadian wife, Mae (Valerie French). Trapped in a loveless marriage, Mae makes advances towards Jubal which he resists. Partly out of loyalty to Shep though Jubal is also more taken with Naomi (Felicia Farr), a young Mormon whose family he shelters on Shep's land. However, the despicable Pinky (Rod Steiger), until now Shep's top hand and used to Mae's favours himself, seizes the chance to stir trouble and spark tragedy.

One of the regrettable myths perpetuated by fans of Italian westerns is that by comparison classic Fifties westerns were one-dimensional, morally simplistic and populated with cardboard characters. On the contrary the Fifties were the great era of the psychological western as exemplified by key works by the likes of Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher and Delmer Daves. Among the most accomplished yet oft-overlooked western auteurs, Daves delivered the landmark anti-racist Broken Arrow (1950), the compelling The Last Wagon (1956) and the original 3:10 to Yuma (1957) among many others. On its initial release Jubal was sadly notable largely for drawing a snarky review from notorious blowhard critic Bosley Crowther written entirely in verse. But through the years it has endured as one of Daves most devastating and multilayered works. The magnificent scenic photography of Charles Lawton Jr. supplies an epic backdrop to this torrid tale of sexual tension, brooding resentment, and simmering psychological angst, based on the 1939 novel Jubal Troop by Paul Wellman but part-inspired by William Shakespeare's Othello.

Each of the principal characters fixate on Jubal Troop in their own particular way. Whether it is the almost paternal affection he inspires in the uncouth but affable Shep, the desperation and lust instilled in Mae or the seething resentment drawn from Pinky. It is interesting to compare Daves' subtle yet nuanced exploration of a stock western archetype: the wandering stranger stirs up a placid community, with how it is used in a later, more self-conscious, overtly psychological western like Blue (1968) with Terence Stamp. More often than not in those later westerns the protagonist is something of a blank slate which is not how Jubal is portrayed by a compelling Glenn Ford. Jubal believes he is dogged by bad luck and, sure enough, Shep proves both his salvation and doom. There is a particularly moving scene where Jubal opens up to Naomi about his past: his father's self-sacrifice and his mother's indifference to whether he lived or died, that showcases Ford's understated strengths as an actor.

Working with co-writer Russell S. Hughes, Daves layers the film with undertones of various intriguing hues from the homoerotic aspects of the Shep-Jubal-Pinky triangle to the more overt sexual longing between Jubal and Mae. There are subtle Biblical allusions to the story with Jubal cast as the lost soul stranded in purgatory, facing temptation before Naomi gives him a glimpse of the promised land. Also Oedipal undertones with Jubal haunted by his inability to hold onto a loving father figure. Strong casting ensures this is a uniformly well-acted film. Aside from the central triumvirate of Ford, Borgnine and Steiger (the latter two snarling or sneering their way through scenes as only they could), dark-haired, bright-eyed British actress Valerie French exudes the right mix of sensuality, danger and tragic vulnerability as the complex Mae. She is contrasted with saintly and wholesome Mormon good girl Naomi played by Felicia Farr (Jack Lemmon's wife) in the one dramatic trope that dates Jubal as a Fifties western though their relationship is heartwarming. Alongside welcome glimpses of reliable character players Noah Beery Jr. and goggle-eyed Jack Elam, Charles Bronson fans can savour a meaty role for ol' stone-face as the one cowboy in Jubal's corner. Who the heck would want to tangle with Ford and Bronson?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1635 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Delmer Daves  (1904 - 1977)

American director best known for the 1959 melodrama A Summer Place, but who also directed nearly 30 films and wrote many more over a 40-year career. The law graduate made his debut in 1943 with the war drama Destination Tokyo with Cary Grant, and other notable films include the Bogart/Bacall noir Dark Passage, Never Let Me Go with Clark Gable, and the Westerns Broken Arrow, The Last Wagon and 3:10 To Yuma, based on Elmore Leonard’s novel. After the success of A Summer Place, Daves followed with equally soapy offerings Susan Slade, Rome Adventure and The Battle Of The Villa Fiorita. Daves also wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to classics The Petrified Forest, Love Affair and An Affair to Remember.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: