Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Proud Ones (1956), directed by Robert Webb (Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, Love Me Tender, White Feather), featured Robert Ryan as Cass Silver, a by-the-book, older marshal who takes a younger man (Jeffrey Hunter) under his wing as a deputy. The younger man, who was a boy when his father was shot, nurses a distrust of Ryan due to the fact that it was the marshal who had shot his father, who was described bluntly by Ryan as a "no-good gun slinger." Despite his apparent black and white way of looking at the world, Ryan is haunted by this act of perceived cowardice from his distant past. Living what he believes is a settled, well-ordered life, his precise manner, which includes such touches as carefully keeping the books as he doles out his deputy's pay and accepting the limitations of his personnel and the citizenry, Ryan brings his brooding presence to the role of a man who seems to carry a psychological weight through his placid, prosaic existence.