THE PROUD REBEL—-offbeat and effective 1958 western drama has an ex-Confederate (Alan Ladd) and his mute son (David Ladd) trying to get along in Illinois, maybe get an operation to cure the boy’s hearing loss. Hardy and kindly local spinster Olivia de Havilland helps out, wicked Dean Jagger and sons make things difficult.
Small-scale film is well-directed by Michael Curtiz, has a nice look*, and a score from Jerome Moross that bears his signature flourish, though tamer than his immortal same-year tapestry for The Big Country.
De Havilland and Jagger are quite good and Ladd, though noticeably puffy (aging fast from drink), gives one of his better post-Shane efforts. His 11-year-old son David performs without hitch.
Good family flick, running 103 minutes, with Cecil Kellaway, Harry Dean Stanton, Henry Hull, Tom Pittman, John Carradine, James Westerfield, Percy Helton and Mary Wickes. Produced for $1,600,000, it did a respectable $4,290,000, ranking 57th for the year.
*Uh, speaking of geography. Where did Illinois get that mountain range that shows up early in the pic? Filmed in Utah.