Jubal (film)

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Jubal
Valerie French in Jubal trailer.jpg
Valerie French in the film trailer
Directed by Delmer Daves
Produced by William Fadiman
Written by Delmer Daves
Russell S. Hughes
Based on Jubal Troop
1939 novel
by Paul Wellman
Starring Glenn Ford
Ernest Borgnine
Rod Steiger
Valerie French
Charles Bronson
Jack Elam
Music by David Raksin
Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr.
Edited by Al Clark
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • 1956 (1956)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.8 million (US)[1]

Jubal is a 1956 Western directed by Delmer Daves based on a 1939 novel by Paul Wellman. The film stars Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, and Valerie French making her American film debut. It was filmed in Technicolor and CinemaScope on location in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The film is notable as a western reworking of Othello[2] (played by Borgnine), with Steiger as Iago and Ford as Cassio. The supporting cast includes Charles Bronson, Jack Elam, Felicia Farr, Noah Beery, Jr., and John Dierkes.

Plot[edit]

Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) is a cowboy who is found in a weakened condition, without a horse. He is given shelter at Shep Horgan's (Ernest Borgnine) large ranch, where he quickly makes an enemy in Pinky (Rod Steiger), a cattleman who accuses Jubal of carrying the smell of sheep.

Horgan is a cheerful, agreeable fellow who is married to an attractive, much younger woman named Mae (Valerie French) whom he met in Canada. He takes an immediate shine to Jubal and offers him a permanent job. Behind his back, Mae also has taken a liking to Jubal, which she expresses to him in no uncertain terms. Horgan has been impressed with Jubal's work ethic and makes him foreman over the other cowhands. That further antagonizes Pinky, whom Horgan does not trust.

Jubal fends off Mae's advances while developing an interest in Naomi (Felicia Farr), a young woman from a traveling wagon train of an unnamed religious group that the cowboys call "rawhiders." Pinky and the other cowboys try to run off the strangers and resent Jubal's interference on their behalf. Jubal's only ally is a drifter named Reb (Charles Bronson), who has attached himself to the wagon train. With Jubal's recommendation, Reb is hired to help him at the ranch.

Pinky, who has carried on with Mae behind her husband's back, tells Horgan that his wife and Jubal have betrayed him. Horgan demands the truth from Mae, who angrily responds that she can't stand him and lies that Jubal has been seeing her.

An enraged Horgan rides to town and confronts Jubal, intending to kill him. Reb flips a gun to Jubal just in time and Horgan is shot dead.

Pinky makes another play for Mae, then beats her savagely when she pushes him away. Pinky then rallies the others to go after Jubal, persuading them that he stole Horgan's wife and murdered him. A posse gets the truth from a dying Mae, that her accusations toward Jubal were completely untrue. She also reveals that Pinky beat her, just before she dies. The posse slowly circles Pinky and it's clear they intend to hang him. Jubal rides away with Naomi and Reb.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Rod Steiger's role was meant to be played by Columbia contract star Aldo Ray but he was unhappy at not receiving a bonus after being loaned out on other films, and refused to appear.[3]

Reception[edit]

Bosley Crowther gave the film a mixed review, written entirely in verse that begins:[4]

"Won't you slip into my bedroom?"
Coos the fat ranch-owner's wife
To the ambulating cowboy
Who has come into her life.

and concludes:[4]

It does have its wide-screen points:
Lovely scenery; good performing;
Smooth knee-action in the joints.
Howsoe'er, its drama drippeth
Like the old familiar rain,
Or—to put it more precisely—
Like a plain, warmed-over Shane."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  2. ^ Axmaker, Sean. "Jubal (1956)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-08-29. Starring Glenn Ford as a cowhand drifter befriended by a big-hearted rancher (Ernest Borgnine) while his beautiful, young, and deeply disenchanted wife (European starlet Valerie French, in her American debut) does her best to seduce the simple, stoic cowboy, it has been described as an Othello on the Range. 
  3. ^ Pryor, Thomas (25 July 1955). "KRAMER AND U. A. SIGN 2-FILM PACT: Producer-Director's Contract Goes Into Effect in Spring After 'Pride and Passion'". New York Times. p. 16. 
  4. ^ a b Crowther, Bosley (April 25, 1956). "Lust Out West; Jubal Tells Tale of Cowboy and Female". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 

External links[edit]