Movie Review: Rawhide (1951)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1951 western starring Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward.

Synopsis: A worker at a remote stage coach relay station must protect a strong-willed woman and her young niece when a gang of outlaws murder the station manager and hold them hostage as part of a plan to rob the gold from the next stage coach coming from the west. Adding to the danger is the gang leader’s apparent inability to keep the men in his group under control.

Rawhide POSTER Movie (14 x 36 Inches - 36cm x 92cm) (1951) (Insert Style A)

This is a brand new single sided reproduction print of a Rawhide poster. The paper size is approximately 14 x 36 Inches - 36cm x 92cm The condition of this item is brand new - m...

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An Entertaining Western

I don’t spend a great deal of time watching old westerns and, on most days, probably wouldn’t have watched this one. However, there wasn’t anything good on TV when I was home for lunch earlier and, since this movie sounded halfway interesting, I figured I would give it a chance. As it turns out, it was better than expected.

I think the thing that really impressed me about this movie is the way it made escaping the outlaws pretty much impossible. The gang’s leader, Rafe Zimmerman (Marlowe), is pretty sharp and, every time they thought they had some sort of edge, he would always gain the upper hand.  Also, even though he was technically the bad guy, he did seem, at times at least, to have some moral values too. This made the movie much more interesting than it would have been if the outlaws were one-dimensional and stupid (which is the case with many westerns).

The character that really won me over, however, was Tevis (Elam). Unlike Zimmerman, he definitely did not have any moral high ground. This, of course, made him much more dangerous. It also made him less predictable which, in turn, made the film less predictable too. I knew the fact he and Zimmerman were constantly at odds would eventually play into things. But, I wasn’t really sure which one would ultimately come out on top or how their conflict would ultimately affect the people they were holding hostage. This kept me interested in the movie until the very end.

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Final Opinion

As I said before, I’m not a huge fan of old westerns and, to be honest, this film really didn’t change that. However, I did think this particular movie was worth taking the time to watch because it was very entertaining with a good mix of action and suspense. It’s the type of film that you should set aside somewhere just in case you have a rainy day.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 03/02/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/28/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here does not have the film Rawhide among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. But it does have Rawhide as a television series, with Clint Eastwood. The film is from 1951, and the series is from 8 years later until 1966.

How would the film Rawhide fare as a colorized reboot or remake? Who would step into roles uniquely carved by Susan Hayward and Tyrone Power?

Also, would you all happen to have seen the series, and would the series have been an expansion of the film?

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