Gillian Flynn
April 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

EW reviews five DVDs starring Glenn Ford

Ford’s oaters are wonderfully reliable entertainment — each film in this Sony package includes some ah-inducing variations of (a) a stampede, (b) a wicked woman, (c) a vast, color-blooming landscape, and (d) a sudden comeuppance and denouement (they knew how to end movies back then). Ford’s early Westerns, Texas and The Desperadoes, are lighter fare, featuring faithful frontier players like Claire Trevor and Edgar Buchanan. Of the two, Texas boasts the snappier dialogue — and the charming pairing of a very young Ford with an even younger William Holden, as two roustabouts who turn legit (Ford) and unlawful (Holden). In Lust for Gold, Ford plays a bonanza-rich murderer (his rare nasty role offers glimpses of the desperation he’d ooze in 1956’s Ransom!). The Violent Men boasts Edward G. Robinson as a murderous robber-baron cattle-man, with Barbara Stanwyck as his Miss Ellie gone really wrong, but it’s Jubal that is Ford’s grandest ranch-based Shakespearean soap opera. Costarring Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, and a perfectly creepy Rod Steiger, Jubal is one of the actor’s most layered Westerns — delving into the ambiguities of good and bad, with shadowy players framed by blue Wyoming sky.


Texas: B+
The Desperadoes: C+
Lust for Gold: B-
The Violent Men: B+
Jubal: A-

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