Alan Ladd stars as Kansas soldier-turned-cattle driver Chad Morgan, battling the elements and corrupt cattle buyers to build a railroad spur to the Rio Grande just after the Civil War.
Called Stampede in the UK, this was one of Ladd’s production ventures, made by his own company Jaguar under a releasing deal at Warner Bros.
Ladd’s wife and agent, former actress Sue Carol, often chose these projects and cocooned her husband with quality factors.
In this case, he is reunited with Virginia Mayo and Gordon Douglas, his co-star and director respectively from The Iron Mistress (1952).
Ladd is sadly unfashionable and virtually forgotten today, but there was much more to him than Shane (1953). Watch how effortlessly he turns this ordinary western into an impressively comfortable star vehicle.
Jack Wrather Jr
George J Lewis