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      Rancho Notorious

      Released Mar 1, 1952 1h 29m Western List
      100% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 69% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Vern Haskell (Arthur Kennedy) is pushed to revenge when his fiancée is killed during a general store robbery. Intent on punishing those responsible, Vern manages to find one of the thieves, who is mortally wounded. In his dying words, the man gives Vern a clue to finding the others. Continuing his quest, Vern travels to the hideout -- a ranch operated by Altar Keane (Marlene Dietrich), a former saloon singer. By fooling an outlaw (Mel Ferrer), Vern makes his way into their inner circle. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (12) Critics Reviews
      Roger Moore Movie Nation Whatever Land thought of Westerns as genre and cultural obsession, this one stands out as a peak-era commentary on the form with an eye toward the violence and cruelty that accounts of a romanticized, largely lawless period of history often skipped over Rated: 2.5/4 May 27, 2024 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Director Fritz Lang combines the German Expressionism of his earlier years with the film noir style of his American run to produce this offbeat Western. Rated: 3/4 Feb 17, 2023 Full Review Nathanael Hood The Retro Set ...pure Fritz Lang through and through. Rated: 7/10 Dec 28, 2018 Full Review Richard T. Jameson Parallax View Rancho Notorious is strange. Peculiar. Outrageous. Utterly distinctive. Oct 22, 2011 Full Review Leo Goldsmith Not Coming to a Theater Near You There is a distinct hokeyness about Lang's vision of the West--pancake-flat sets in a generic studio-backlot Western town; giant, abstract crab-colored boulders made out of papier-mache, brazenly unnaturalistic stage-lighting--but it's the ardent phoneyne Aug 8, 2009 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid Because the small budget kept Lang sequestered on the studio lot, he found a way to use the sets for their claustrophobic, caged feel. May 26, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (46) audience reviews
      Chris r Never seen this movie before but man it's great! Def check out this western. Under seen for how good it is. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/11/23 Full Review Matthew D A rock solid old Western with playful songs and gripping acting. Director Fritz Lang's Western picture Rancho Notorious (1952) is a real old fashioned classic. Lang's direction is quite interesting as we open to grotesque violence, an intricate hunt, then final encounters in a hidden criminal town hilariously called Chuck-A-Luck. The gunsmoke and pithy conversations are entertaining. The final shootout is as exciting as the bank robberies. Writers Silvia Richards and Daniel Taradash create a simple story that is elevated by hardened criminal characters and a lonesome hero on a quest for revenge. It's about hate, revenge, crime, punishment, justice, and perseverance. Cinematographer Hal Mohr's sweeping camerawork across vast desert plains into these striking medium shots inside saloons are engaging. Marlene Dietrich is gorgeous and enthralling as the alluring singer Altar Keane, who runs a secret outlaw town called Chuck-A-Luck. Marlene plays up her flirting and frustrations with a very playful and entertaining acting performance. Her singing as Altar Keane is still fun to hear. Marlene Dietrich always makes for a fine femme fatale, whether she's in a film noir or Western. Arthur Kennedy is determined and cool as Western hero Vern Haskell on the hunt for a vicious rapist and robber who assaulted and murdered his girlfriend. Kennedy's dramatic acting is compelling and sympathetic. He feels realistically furious and brings down his wrath in the form of gunsmoke in a blaze of vengeance. Mel Ferrer is great as Frenchy Fairmont. I liked his introduction that shows off his power dynamic as he rigs the roulette wheel with the footstep to impress Marlene. Gloria Henry is beautiful and heartbreaking as the terrified victim Beth Forbes. William Frawley is tough and mean as the casino owner Baldy Gunder, who rigs his roulette wheel, spun in a cameo by Russell Johnson. John Raven calling out loudly as the Chuck-a-luck dealer is amusing too. Jack Elam's sinister Mort Geary, George Reeves' sleazy womanizer Wilson, Frank Ferguson's funny Preacher, Francis McDonald's amusing old man Harbin, and Lloyd Gough's lethal creep villain Kinch are excellent side characters. Production designer Wiard B. Ihnen's wooden Western towns look lively and dressed up with splendor by set decorator Robert Priestley. I loved the songs in Rancho Notorious. Marlene Dietrich's vocals are fun. Ken Darby's old Western singing with country music from composer Emil Newman and songwriter William Lee are quite wonderful fun throughout Rancho Notorious. They narrate the plot to help keep things moving. Sound designer Hugh McDowell Jr. and Mac Dalgleish record really clear voice recordings for the speaking and singing. The loud gunshots are great. Costume designer Don Loper creates the most dazzling and colorful dresses for Marlene. The purple and red gowns are particularly stunning. Frank Westmore's makeup looks very pretty and becoming on Marlene alongside Nelliemarie Manley's meticulous hairstyling with tons of curls and waves. In short, Rancho Notorious is a slick 86 minutes of searching for revenge and old Western fun. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/07/23 Full Review Audience Member Unique and powerful play on a classic western! Superb!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Audience Member Just average. Mostly predictable western, with an annoying musical soundtrack. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member An unexpected and entertaining western that shouldn't work...but somehow it actually does. Fritz Lang directs Marlene Dietrich as a woman who owns a hideout for outlaws seeking to stay out of sight. The sets are obviously a fake backlot, and the song is as hokey as it gets, but Marlene shines. The film also looks a bit like it could have inspired Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight". Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review david f A pretty standard Western despite the high powered talent of Marlene Dietrich and Fritz Lang. Has a few twists to keep things interesting and is focused on obsessive revenge. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Rancho Notorious

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      Cast & Crew

      83% 63% Blood on the Moon 50% 25% Cimarron 86% 60% Western Union 95% 76% Man of the West 94% 89% High Noon Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Vern Haskell (Arthur Kennedy) is pushed to revenge when his fiancée is killed during a general store robbery. Intent on punishing those responsible, Vern manages to find one of the thieves, who is mortally wounded. In his dying words, the man gives Vern a clue to finding the others. Continuing his quest, Vern travels to the hideout -- a ranch operated by Altar Keane (Marlene Dietrich), a former saloon singer. By fooling an outlaw (Mel Ferrer), Vern makes his way into their inner circle.
      Director
      Fritz Lang
      Producer
      Howard Welsch
      Screenwriter
      Silvia Richards, Daniel Taradash
      Distributor
      RKO Radio Pictures, Republic Pictures
      Production Co
      RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
      Genre
      Western
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 1, 1952, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 4, 2019
      Runtime
      1h 29m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm, Flat (1.37:1)