Relentless (1948) Robert Young, Marguerite Chapman, Willard Parker, Akim Tamiroff, Barton MacLane, Mike Mazurki Movie Review

Relentless (1948)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Marguerite Chapman and Robert Young in Relentless (1948)

Young is Having a Mare

Nick Buckley (Robert Young) walked into town with his pregnant horse on a rainy night and into the saloon where two prospectors were celebrating having struck it rich. It is the two old guys who offer him their cabin on the outskirts of town but he ends up bunking down in a horse stall out the back of the store. When the two old timers are murdered by a couple of devious criminals it leads to a chain of events which sees his mare killed, one of the bad guys killed by Nick but then finding himself a wanted man for not just the one murder but also those of the old prospectors. Fortunately Nick has an ally in Luella Purdy (Marguerite Chapman) a travelling merchant who takes pity on Nick when she finds him in the middle of nowhere.

As westerns go the most complicated thing about "Relentless" is the contrived set up of Nick riding in to town and ending up trying to prove his innocence when he ends up killing one bad guy who stole his horse but accused of murdering three. After the set up is put in place the rest of the movie is pretty typical as we have Nicky trying to prove his innocence whilst a sheriff and his men relentlessly hunt him down. At the same time we have Luella being fond of Nick but getting a little frustrated by him whilst the sheriff has a secret thing for her. Basically the storyline to "Relentless" is built up of a couple of familiar ideas which makes it easy to watch.

What this does is make "Relentless" all about the scenes from Luella's initial meeting with Nick where we realise immediately she has taken a shine to him to action scenes such as the wounded Nick crawling out from burning bushes as the sheriff tries to flush him out. And directory George Sherman and cinematographer Edward Cronjager certainly make the most of this being shot in Technicolor with plenty of visually arresting scenes which are lush in detail and rich in colour. This is especially the case in scenes featuring Marguerite Chapman who delivers a mix of being plucky and loved up which makes Luella a sweet character.

What this all boils down to is that "Relentless" is narratively nothing special, just a familiar western adventure movie with a feeling of being a little too contrived in places. But it has plenty of nice action and is richly coloured with many visually arresting scenes.