Drama / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 42% · 50 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 1879 1.9K


Top cast

William Campbell as Johnny Cool
Glenn Strange as Milliken, Stage Driver
Donna Reed as Karyl Orton
Barton MacLane as Sgt. George Lake
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
775.13 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
Seeds 7
1.41 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pzanardo 8 / 10

Conventional, but sound and nice classic western

"Backlash" is a conventional 1950s western, but it is sound and nice and has several merits. The director John Sturges (almost) never disappoints you. The entertaining story is a typical one by the great western-writer Borden Chase: plenty of twists of the plot, of surprises, of double-crossing, of complicated kinship relations between the many characters. The finale is rather original. The action scenes are very good: Sturges is a master of that. The cinematography is stunning: it renders with the full force of a glorious technicolor the wonderful beauty of the Arizona landscapes.

The job by the cast is first-rate. Richard Widmark is a great actor in every role: either as the good guy (here), or as the villain (in many other movies). John McIntire is excellent in his trade-mark role of the sneaky outlaw. But I was even more impressed by the depth of Donna Reed's talent. I remembered her as the paradigmatic loving spouse and mother in "It's a wonderful life". Here she's fully convincing in the role of the tough, cynical woman with a turbulent past. Donna seems even more beautiful and appealing in "Backlash" than in the Capra's movie (in fact she's really gorgeous). Is she so good to be able to improve her looks, depending on her role?

Predictably enough, "Backlash" oozes amiable cliches and naive flaws, which, however, almost increase the pleasure of us old western-movies-fans. First: what's the point of the title? No wips are seen along the movie. Widmark wrestles with an Apache sentry for some thirty seconds, without the Apache screaming to give the alarm to his companions. Where does Donna Reed keep the many beautiful dresses she wears? She travels on horse-back... And we have the usual geographical oddities of old classic westerns: the guys just cross a mountain and they pass from Arizona to Texas!

I like "Backlash" and I recommend it: see the movie, relax and have a good time.

Reviewed by xredgarnetx 7 / 10

Compelling Old West mystery

Anyone else but Richard Widmark, and BACKLASH might have been a forgettable, hollow mystery set in the old West. As it is, Widmark and a dark-tressed, feisty Donna Reed give this slight tale some real impact as two people searching for lost loved ones, Reed her husband and Widmark his father. The two missing men may have been among a group that amassed a small fortune in gold, then massacred by Apaches. The truths Widmark and Reed must face by the climax are tough to take, but these two prove tougher than they might at first appear. Getting to the truth ends up with the two of them caught in the middle of a range war between two ranches. John McIntire also does a nice turn as the supremely evil head of one of the warring ranches. Great outdoor photography lends the film an air of authenticity it might have missed on a studio sound stage or back lot. John Sturges directed.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

Learning Some Horrible Truths

Donna Reed comes upon Richard Widmark at a place called Gila Valley where five men were massacred by Indians and one man escaped with $60,000.00. Three of the five men were identified, but none of the deceased is either Widmark's father or Reed's husband. Of course both are hunting for their respective relations.

The search yields some truths that neither one is willing to face up to. But both seek and find support and comfort in the other.

Backlash as a previous reviewer remarked is almost like a detective story set in the west. John Sturges gets some find performances out of his cast.

The two who stand out and steal the film from the stars are William Campbell as a punk gunfighter and John McIntire as the amoral outlaw leader in whose hands Widmark and Reed fall into at the end of their odyssey.

No studio backlots for this western, good location photography and a very nice plot distinguish this film. Catch it the next time AMC runs it.

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