Lust for Gold (1949) Ida Lupino, Glenn Ford, Gig Young, William Prince Movie Review

Lust for Gold (1949)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Karolyn Grimes and Glenn Ford in Lust for Gold (1949)

The Root of All Evil

Barry Storm (William Prince) has always believed in the legend that his grandfather, Jacob 'Dutch' Walz (Glenn Ford) found and claimed a goldmine more than half a century earlier and he has now arrived in Arizona to try and find the mine. He is not the only one as Floyd Buckley (Hayden Rorke) is also looking for the mine although he knows it as the Peralta mine. When Storm brings in Buckley's murdered body he is not only questioned by the police but Sheriff Lynn Early (Paul Ford) and Deputy Ray Covin (Will Geer) tell him all about the legend of the mine and how years ago a Spaniard by the name of Peralta was hiding gold in a cave on Apache sacred ground when Cochise not only killed him and his men but covered up the mine, the mine that Walz discovered. But as Storm sets out to find the mine he has to deal with who ever it was who killed Buckley.

I've watched many a movie and it takes something special to really make me sit up and pay attention and "Lust for Gold" did. And whilst there are a couple of reasons for this the main one is the effective use of past and present storylines with neither filling like filler. As such on one hand you have the story in the present as Barry tries to find the mine, learn more from those who were around when his grandfather was in the area but also deal with whoever the killer is trying to prevent people from finding the mine. And whilst this isn't the strongest part of the movie it is solid enough to give you some intrigue.

Ida Lupino in Lust for Gold (1949)

Then there is the past storyline which sees Jacob Walz discovering the mine or in truth tracking someone else who was out looking for the mine and had a more genuine claim to its contents. What makes this entertaining is that it is one of those rare movies where popular actors such as Glenn Ford and Ida Lupino play nasty, scheming characters and they all play their parts brilliantly in an intoxicating manner when you watch them growl, snarl and scheme always willing to stick the knife in to someone's back.

It isn't just the acting and the characters as the action is also good and there is a real sense of this being a movie built around despicable people behaving badly and with little respect for others. As such there is a general sense of nastiness when things start to kick off with a lot of rage being brought to the screen and plenty of passion as well.

What this all boils down to is that "Lust for Gold" ends up a surprisingly good movie, the sort you usually know about long before you have actually watched. And what makes it good is the passion and nastiness which the actors give their characters, making them truly despicable and dangerous.