The new warden of a large American harbor raises the hackles of sailors and fishermen by his strict enforcement of all the safety rules. He takes the time, though, to romance the sister of his biggest rival.
The friendship of three Texas Ranchers. Later their ranch was destroyed by Cotrell, of the Union army,and his band of outlaw raiders. The original title was "Distant Drums", this was a description of Civil War army deserters.
"Barricade" is most noteworthy for the villainous performance of Raymond Massey, who clearly relishes his role as a vile manipulator of men with no moral compass at all. Mr. Massey's "Boss Kruger" lures wanted men (that is, wanted by the law) into his private hell-hole in the middle of the desert, with promises of good wages to do some mining work, and keeps them there as virtual slaves and prisoners.
Though a true B- western, this film features a script that is fast-moving, and not completely predictable. There is a brief Shakespeare-quoting duel, for example. And, rather unusually, Massey keeps a painting of England's King Richard III, who he idolizes, in his office.
A couple of other noteworthy oddities: In hindsight, there is not single character in this film who we can truly sympathize with, not a hero of any kind. Even Dane Clark, as the nominal protagonist, though likable, is not a text-book Western hero. Weirder still is that the cast features, not 1, but 2 jockey-sized actors (that is to say, slightly freakishly undersized), as members of Massey's dysfunctional workforce. One plays the drunken pastor cum judge, and the other a sleazy turncoat with a slightly theatrical manner.
Ruth Roman is achingly gorgeous throughout; yet, in another oddity, the director and producer clearly made a decision to have not one bit of sexual suggestion in the movie. Though she is the only female in an isolated nest of male vipers, not one makes a lavicious play for her. Very interesting, very different.
If you like Westerns, then you can do worse than this. Keep your eyes on Massey and Roman, and you will be reasonably entertained for the little more than an hour it takes to watch this one.
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