“Albuquerque”: The Movie

Ray Enright‘s Albuquerque (1948), a Western, shows us the capitalist building of a town, as well as the selfishness of a business tycoon who does evil.  When his nephew, Cole Armin (Randolph Scott), witnesses this evil, he goes to work for the tycoon’s competitor, who is drawn to the same kind of ore-hauling enterprise the tycoon has founded.  Cole is a good man, which doesn’t matter to Mr. Big, who manages to get Cole arrested on a phony arson charge.  It doesn’t stick, though, after which the tycoon (nicely played, by the way, by George Cleveland) wants blood.  But a business venture must go on.

There was some fine material in this movie to work with, and Enright and his cast were essentially up to it.  Why, it even has its own Charlotte Corday—she who killed the French Revolution’s Marat—in the person of Letty Tyler (Barbara Britten), an associate of the tycoon who, by and by, loves his rival.  Albuquerque is in color (it works) and usually pleasurable in its action.  It’s modest but involving.

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