Frenchie Fontaine sells her successful business in New Orleans to come West. Her reason? Find the men who killed her father, Frank Dawson. But she only knows one of the two who did and she's determined to find out the other.
In the lawless Oregon country of 1842, local magnate Gerald Montgomery decrees that any unattached woman belongs to the first taker. Dan Kirby is lynched, starting a stampede to claim his half-Indian wife Paca. Trouble starts with the local tribe, but worse is in store when Dan's tough brother Tex rides in. The zeal of Montgomery's men to protect him from Tex is tempered by their lust for Hannah, who'd be his widow.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Raw Edge is quite a fascinating little (a brief 75 minutes long) western given it was made in 1956 and that the overarching theme being examined in the film is the place and status of women in the "Wild West"; a theme which in the light of ongoing contemporary events, still resonates strongly in the second decade of the 21st century.
I have no idea whether there is any historical basis at all to the fictional events depicted in Raw Edge. Unlike one or two other reviewers at this site however, I'd respectfully suggest that the sort of story we see, set in a frontier settlement with no organised legal. judicial or religious institutions, is not unimaginable. Historically men are drawn to civilisation's peripheries in far more dominant numbers than women.
Besides its very intriguing story, the film looks great in technicolour and makes very good use of its location photography. Rory Calhoun and Yvonne De Carlo are fine in the lead roles, displaying an innate chemistry occurring between their characters, in spite of their frequent antagonistic clashes. Good to see the Native Americans are treated in a very sympathetic light too, with the status of their female characters contrasting markedly with those of the whites.
The main bone of contention that does need to be raised is the frequent anachronistic aspects employed in moulding this fringe story into an action western setting. Therefore though set in 1842 Oregon, the film in its fashions, weapons and even buildings (Montgomery's palatial lodge) seems to be occurring 30 - 40 years later in time. A small price to pay in my opinion for an engrossing oater.
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