It. tit.: Vento di terre lontane; Sog.: dal romanzo di Paul Wellman; Scen.: Russell S. Hughes, Delmer Daves; F.: Charles Lawton Jr.; Mo.: Albert Clark; Scgf.: Louis Diage; Mu.: David Raksin; Su.: John P. Livadary, Harry Smith; Int.: Glenn Ford (Jubal Troop), Ernest Borgnine (Shep Horgan), Rod Steiger (‘Pinky’ Pinkum), Valerie French (Mae Horgan), Felicia Farr (Naomi Hoktor), Basil Ruysdael (Shem Hoktor), Noah Berry Jr. (Sam, Horgan Rider), Charles Bronson (Reb Haislipp), John Dierkes (Carson, Horgan Rider), Jack Elam (McCoy, Bar 8 Rider), Robert Burton (Dottor Grant); Prod.: William Fadiman per Columbia Pictures Corporation; Pri. pro.: 6 aprile 1956. 35mm. D.: 101’. Col.
After the pompous and overrated Broken Arrow, Delmer Daves turned out a string of under-stated, intriguing Westerns. The moody, grim drama of Jubal supposedly draws its inspiration from Othello, but is much less faithful to its Shakespearean text than the Italian Western Johnny Hamlet or the British gangster movie Joe Macbeth are to theirs. Glenn Ford is an outcast, rejected by his own mother (who blames him for the death by drowning of his father), taken in by simple-minded but decent rancher Ernest Borgnine. However, while Ford is teaching the Martyish Borgnine how to make love to his wife (Valerie French), whining Iago-type Rod Steiger does his best to make it seem as if French is making up to Ford. While Ford is being forced to gun down his friend, Steiger rapes and beats up French, planning to blame Ford and set the local lynch mob on the outsider. Daves’ dusty, realistic West and widescreen landscapes serve as a perfect backdrop for his tightly-wound, heavily fatalistic plot. In the end, French’s last words save Ford’s life, but he is left with an emotional graveyard after he has taken his revenge on Steiger.
Kim Newman, Jubal, in The BFI Companion to the Western, curated by Edward Buscombe, British Film Institute, London 1993
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