Raoul Walsh provides the pace and crisp editing (94 minutes with some nice montages) and Walter Pidgeon and John Wayne make for worthy tall-statured foes (Pidgeon has a big booming deep voice like Gregory Peck (before Peck) and was like 6’2 or 6’3).
Victor Young score
Again we’re bouncing pretty quickly via mini-montage which is typical of Walsh—going as they recap the rallying of the North and South, another of Pidgeon bullying jury members. A couple of Frank Capra-like news clipping montages
George “Gabby” Hayes is doing a poor man’s Walter Brennan here (in 1940 here Brennan had just come off winning Academy Awards for supporting actor in 1936 and 1938)
This is early John Wayne- very naïve and honest—patriotic—sort of a big dumb hick in most ways
Set in Kansas before and during the civil war
Typical of Walsh anything kinetic is really well done. The chases (he knows how to cut and how to use space to his advantage), the jumping off the cliff into the water with the horses looks better in 1940 than most films do in 1980 and that’s all Walsh, the finale set piece with the fire in the town and big battle is spectacular