xpotJUBAL—-quietly simmering 1956 western drama, directed by Delmer Daves, has soft-spoken drifter ‘Jubal Troop’ sign up for work on a ranch where things are run not so much by the genial owner as past his scheming wife and the sadistic foreman.
Good writing and a naturalistic atmosphere give a fine cast rein for strong work. Another tough and introspective hero spot for Glenn Ford as the title loner, a refreshing and sympathetic departure from villain roles for Ernest Borgnine as the hearty rancher, a passionate excursion into spiteful slutdom for Felicia Farr and, for Rod Steiger, another of those totally nasty parts that helped build his career.
With Valerie French, Charles Bronson, Noah Beery Jr., Basil Ruysdael, John Dierkes and Jack Elam in play it makes for 101 enjoyable minutes in the outdoors on location in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It made $3,960,000, coming in a leisurely 55th for its year. Ford’s laid-back observation: “”Rod…well, in kindness I think I should say he did a great job with his role. However, the ‘method’ got a little too much for some of us, especially the wranglers … Look, Rod won an Academy Award, didn’t he? And so did Ernie, so whatever Rod was doing in his role for Jubal probably worked for him. He was intense, I’ll tell you that.”