The Rare Breed

ISBN 13: 9780783278940

The Rare Breed

9780783278940: The Rare Breed
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Veteran Western director Andrew V. McLaglen puts his brand on this exciting story, based on America's acquisition of English Hereford cattle (which would phase out Texas longhorns). In the 1880s, Englishwoman Martha Price (Maureen O'Hara) and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills) come to America to sell their prize Hereford bull at an auction. When he is purchased by Bowen, a wild Scotsman (Brian Keith), the women hire a footloose cowhand named Burnett (James Stewart) to help them transport the animal to its new owner. So begins an adventure that test the mettle of all involved as they battle killers, cattle stampedes - and each other. But when they reach Bowen's ranch, even greater obstacles force them to summon up extraordinary courage if they, and the prize bull, are to survive.

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A very offbeat subject gives this Western its beefy flavor: English lady Maureen O'Hara brings a prize Hereford bull to the Wild West, where she plans to introduce its hardy bloodline into longhorn country. Cattle puncher James Stewart finds the idea suspect, but he likes this redhead, so he manages to tag along through stampede, gunfight, and blizzard. Director Andrew V. McLaglen generally steers a pleasing course, although the movie occasionally stumbles between brawling comedy and western drama. One stunt sequence, a run of longhorns through a desert canyon, qualifies as a hair-raiser. Brian Keith, wearing a gigantic red beard, does a Scots accent as a cattle baron, and veteran cowhands Ben Johnson and Jack Elam are around to lend atmosphere. The big bull's name is Vindicator, and he obeys whenever Juliet Mills whistles "God Save the Queen"--did we mention this is a very offbeat subject for a Western? --Robert Horton

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