Flaming Feather (1952) Sterling Hayden, Forrest Tucker, Arleen Whelan, Barbara Rush, Victor Jory Movie Review

Flaming Feather (1952)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Sterling Hayden in Flaming Feather (1952)

Tex's Carolina Woes

Everyone in the Arizona Territory have heard of the mysterious Sidewinder who leads renegade Ute Indians on various raids but no one knows who the mysterious Sidewinder is. When Tex McCloud's (Sterling Harden) ranch is attacked and burned to the ground he vows to find the Sidewinder and get revenge. But Tex isn't the only one looking for the mysterious leader and he finds himself having a little bet with Lt. Tom Blaine (Forrest Tucker) over who will get the Sidewinder first with saloon owner, Carolina (Arleen Whelan) providing Tex's side of the bet.

Trust me when I say that synopsis for "Flaming Feather" doesn't do it credit as it sounds like a pretty standard revenge western where the guy who loses his ranch goes after the mysterious man behind it. But quickly this story is elaborated upon as when Carolina offers to back Tex she does so wanting him to do a job in return which involves a character by the name of Lucky Lee and Tex ends up coming to the aid of Lucky's girl Nora in a hotel. As such some things in "Flaming Feather" do not seem so straight forwards as you might first think although as a whole it remains pretty routine.

Barbara Rush in Flaming Feather (1952)

Along side some of those plot developments "Flaming Feather" has a nice line in humour with some amusing characters accompanied by a playful soundtrack. It also features some beautiful cinematography with Ray Rennahan delivering what for me was some of his best western movie camera work, mixing colourful with nice depth to make the most of the wonderful mountains which provide a backdrop to much of the movie.

The daft thing is that the most forgettable part of "Flaming Feather" are the characters as whilst all those involved play their parts well their parts are pretty generic. Even the main character of Tex is forgettable because he is the stereotypical good guy who can weigh up people quite nicely. As such when it comes to the acting there is as much chance you will remember "Flaming Feather" because of Arleen Whelan and Barbara Rush being attractive than for the performances of the men.

What this all boils down to is that "Flaming Feather" certainly has its positives including a storyline with some nice twists and turns. But when it is all over it isn't the most memorable of movies.