Rancho Notorious (1952)

by guestwriter

Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious is a unique western movie carrying within its roots a deep psychological influence. The redemption of the characters is disguised in the form of a bitter and evil fruit. The myth of Marlene Dietrich, posing as a goddess facing maturity relates very much to the “femme fatale” prototype. Although unsentimental, the film is full of gentle nostalgia. The world it discloses is a closed one (the movie was suggestively filmed indoors), in which moral alternatives are limited. The painted backdrops serve to emphasize the abrupt juxtaposition of moods of tender lyricism and violence and the theme soundtrack, “The Old Story of Hate, Murder and Revenge”, powerfully reinforces the impact of the film. I truly believe that this is probably the best western to have been made.

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