Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Rimfire and Little Big Horn Double Feature
This pair of B Western movies that is fairly interesting and good enough for watching by Western aficionados and worth watching again several times. I watched them back to back a couple of times and was impressed how well made they were.
They were made around 1950 and star B actors and are shot in a shadowy style that we now call film noir but in those days just meant the films had little money for sets and lighting. Still the dark cinematography is alluring and the shadows do give the pictures an air of mystery.
The pair of them has been resurrected by VCI Entertainment and published on a single DVD with a film on either side and billed as Western Film Noir.
VCI Video and Kit Parker Films have released LITTLE BIG HORN (1951) and RIMFIRE (1949) under the Western Film Noir banner.
The two were made by Lippert studios and have mystery plots grafted on to the usual oater story of cavalry life in Little Big Horn and corrupt town life in Rimfire. Both movies are certainly fruitful because they have almost certainly been mined for ideas by later directors. I viewed both of them and noted several plot devices that I have seen in other more well known movies like High Plains Drifter.
The cinematography with the striking camera angles and shadowy frames are both the product of Ernest Miller who was the cinematographer on both films. If you are a fan of film noir you’ll know the keynote of the genre is the fatalism inherent that means the characters have no chance as the plot unwinds – fate is stalking them and will win in the end. The cinematography renders the ambiance with low key lighting and stark camera angles that serve to keep the viewer on edge, just like the characters on the screen.
Little Big Horn is the story of a small U.S. Cavalry patrol on the way to meet Custer at the Little Big Horn. As they move through the area they note the presence of lots of Indians and the commander decides to ride hard to the rendezvous and tell the General that it would be better not to engage the pesky Indians. Of course lots of stuff happens that begins to eliminate the patrol members before they can get the job done.
John Ireland, Lloyd Bridges, and Marie Windsor star and do a great job in this exciting drama. All three moved up a notch in my estimation after watching this little known movie.
The movie is black and white in 4X3 format and runs a quick moving 86 minutes.
Rimfire is the story of a Union undercover agent in Texas during the Civil War who learns the story behind a gambler killed by the corrupt townsfolk that has somehow returned to life and is taking revenge on the townsmen one by one.
Well directed by B. Reeves Eason and shot by Ernest Miller with eerie misty cinematography. The unusual script with the visual treatment makes it worth watching. You’ll get the idea behind High Plains Drifter if you watch this one. James Millican, Mary Beth Hughes, Reed Hadley, and Henry Hull fill out the cast of Rimfire.
Shot in 4X3 black and white with a running time of 63 minutes.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV