The Vanquished Film Details
Overview: After the Civil War, unscrupulous and corrupt civilian administrators, backed by the Union Army, run Southern towns like despots, causing public outrage.
Tagline: With wits, weapons, and women … he fought for justice !
Review: In complaining about the excesses of Reconstruction as relates to southern whites, the film totally ignores the main function of the continued military occupation of the South after the war: to enforce the civil rights of African Americans as formalized in the 14th, 15th,and 16th amendments. As long as the audience understands the importance of this omission, this film makes its valid point……The screen play starts right off introducing the prime villain: oily, vindictive scalawag Roger Hale(Lyle Bettger), civil administrator in his neck of the woods. We also meet his mistress: Rose Slater(Jan Sterling), from the wrong side of the tracks, as was Hale. We also meet Captain Kirby((Willard Porter): a Union officer in Hale’s pay. They are all present for the hanging of a poor southerner: guilty of murdering Union soldier. His hysterical wife pleads that he was only defending his property. Hale remarks that there should be a couple of hangings each week, just to instill and maintain fear the administration. ……The ‘hero’, Rockwell Grayson(John Payne)appears only later, after released from a Union prison camp. While there, he received many letters from friends telling of the crooked and mean things Hale had done as administrator. Rockwell forwarded these letters to General Hildebrandt, who took them seriously. He later visited Hale to talk to him, and to Rockwell, who was then employed by Hale, in an undercover role. Hale knew his game was up when the General insisted on taking his books to the state auditor. Thus, he took an extreme measure to prevent this. He devised a plan to make it look like Rockwell killed the General, writing a note telling the General to come to Rockwell’s hotel room that evening, signing it Rockwell. His plan worked, as Rockwell panicked, and fled out the window when he heard soldiers coming to investigate the noise of the shot. From then on, Rockwell was assumed to be the killer…….I consider Rose and Rockwell to be the most interesting characters, because they SEEMED the most ambivalent. Rose is ambivalent with respect to Hale and Rockwell, being Hale’s mistress, yet increasingly flirting with Rockwell. When Rockwell was wounded by the posse, he headed for Rose’s house, since he assumed the posse would soon check out the house of his girlfriend: Jane(Coleen Gray). While Rockwell was passed out from loss of blood, Rose took Hale’s note from his pocket and hid it. Rockwell needed that note to compare with samples of his and Hale’s writing. Jane, who never gave up hope that Rockwell was innocent, figured out that Rose must have taken the incriminating note. Thus, she rode to Rose’s house and, in a dramatic gesture, threatened to stab her if she didn’t hand over the note. She then fled to bring the note to the attention of authorities. Meanwhile, Hale’s vigilantes raced to Rose’s house to look for Rockwell, who had returned to her house. Rockwell ran up the stairs to escape via a back window. Hale ran up the stairs after him, and Rose shot Hale dead. Why did Rose do this? Probably, she saw that Hale’s game was up, and decided to definitely switch her loyalty to Rockwell. Also, she had blackmailed Hale into signing a will giving her all his property and money when he died. Don’t know if this would stand up in court, since the bequither was murdered by the beneficiary??…….In Rockwell’s case, it only APPEARED that he was ambivalent regarding Hale, in order to better accomplish his goal of pinning illegalities on Hale. As things turned out, he wasn’t actually the hero. Rather, the 2 women were, in saving and exposing the incriminating note, and in killing Hale ……With the reservation stated in the beginning, I found this an entertaining and valid story. See it at YouTube.
Country: United States
Duration: 84 min
Also known as: O aetos tou Notou,Los vencidos,Rock Grayson’s Women,Zwyciężeni,The Vanquished,Epílogo de Sangue,Opstand der gedoemden,Geknechtet,De opstand der vervloekten,The Conquerors,La primula rossa del Sud,La ville sous le joug,The Lion’s Share,Frihedshelten,Învinşii,Şehir kaplanı,La révolte des maudits,Sangue do Sul,The Gallant Rebel