Thu 7 Mar 2013
JUBAL. Columbia, 1956. Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Valerie French, Felicia Farr, Basil Ruysdael, Noah Beery Jr., Charles Bronson, Jack Elam. Director: Delmer Daves.
Segueing to Classical Tragedy, there is Jubal, from a novel by Paul Wellman, based loosely on Othello. I liked the way director Delmer (The Hanging Tree, Destination Tokyo, Dark Passage) Daves managed to view all the characters in this moody melodrama of passion and murder with a certain amount of sympathy, even Valerie French’s trampy temptress and Rod Steiger’s bitchy cowboy.
Glenn Ford’s acting in this is uncannily similar to James Dean; he shifts shyly from people, smiles uncomfortably and tries to sound like he’s joking when be reveals his feelings, and even rubs his face in James Dean style. I’m probably the only moviegoer in the Free World who would get this impression, but I still think it’s a fine performance in a great western.