Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeCultureFilm & TV

Retro review: Escort West - Formulaic yet thoughtful

BY David Parkinson

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

Retro review: Escort West - Formulaic yet thoughtful

Victor Mature exudes southern gentility in this formulaic, but nonetheless thoughtful Western, which was co-produced by John Wayne's Batjac company.

As a Confederate captain protecting his young daughter, two stranded sisters and a Union army payroll from marauding Modoc Indians and a couple of desperadoes, Mature combines the Duke's imposing machismo with the stiff decency of Randolph Scott. But, while he banters briskly with Faith Domergue and Elaine Stewart, he's at his best in action sequences that lose little impact for being filmed on soundstages rather than on location.

That said, William Clothier's widescreen monochrome imagery has the disarming beauty he brought to his work for John Ford, while director Francis D. Lyon (a former Oscar-winning editor) allows time to explore the seething political undercurrents, with the scenes involving wounded black army contractor Rex Ingram making for intriguing contrast with the references to the embittered scout orchestrating the Modoc mayhem.
Buy the DVD

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit