Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Appaloosa is one of the more tolerable Marlon Brando westerns, if only because Brando seems to be aspiring to merely entertain rather than offer us a litany of Life Lessons. The title character is a beautiful horse, stolen from buffalo hunter Brando early in the proceedings. The thief is Anjanette Comer, acting on behalf of her nasty boyfriend, Mexican bandit chieftan John Saxon. In his efforts to retrieve his property, Brando is subjected to torture and humiliation by Saxon and his minions. A later foray into Saxon's camp results in a brutal wrestling match between Brando and the bandito. Again left to die, Brando is rescued by Comer, who despises her "lover" and prefers Brando's company. During the violence-laden climax, Brando his forced to choose between Comer and his beloved Appaloosa. Russell Metty's gritty photography does more to sustain the mood of The Appaloosa than Sidney J. Furie's showoffish direction.
animal, forbidden-love, grief, horse, killing, love, physical-abuse, romance, survivor