‘Neath the Arizona Skies

There is a veritable glut of action beyond the evocative title, enough material for four or five Westerns. This signifies the strange case of general flood on the ground, a lawlessness to counter those brilliant skies.

It opens on tepees in a Catlin view, then oil wells, a gusher. Indians collect on their leases, one little girl has a pile waiting for her, the “no-good white man” who ran out on her mother is feared dead.

John Wayne thinks otherwise, but the little girl’s fortune is envied by a gang of desperadoes, there’s various varmints on the trail, a decent woman and her brothers (one dead in a range war, one a robber), so much crime on the hoof, so few good folks.

The spectacular dazzle of this is the effect sought, a kind of radiant coruscating darkness to suggest by opposites the superbright sparkle and shimmer of an Arizona sunrise.