Slaughter Trail (1951) starring Brian Donlevy, Gig Young, Virginia Grey, Andy Devine, Robert Hutton, Terry Gilkyson directed by Irving Allen Movie Review

Slaughter Trail (1951)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Slaughter Trail (1951) starring Brian Donlevy

Sing-a-long Western

Having robbed the stage, three outlaws find themselves in need of new horses so kill a group of Indians to steal their horses. Their murderous actions cause the Indians to break a peace treaty as they want to dish out justice to these men. With the increase in trouble Captain Dempster (Brian Donlevy) tries to negotiate with the Indian chief and bring peace to the community again by promising to capture the outlaws but the Indians what to dish out their own justice.

That synopsis for "Slaughter Trail" is about as generic as they come with its tale of Indian trouble and outlaws. And on one level "Slaughter Trail" is generic with familiar actors such as Andy Devine cropping up in some stereotypical supporting roles. The action is generic as is the dialogue and whilst not terrible the cinematography is also generic. Basically on one level "Slaughter Trail" is just another western b-movie from the 1950s.

But there is something about "Slaughter Trail" which is anything but generic and that is its score which is a lot more memorable than the actual movie. You see "Slaughter Trail" has what I call a narrative score where we have a series of songs which basically tell the story. Some may call it a ballad movie but the style of score with its jaunty sing-a-long nature is not your typical soundtrack for a western. Now I did say this was memorable and that is more to do with the fact that it over whelms the movie to the point of being annoying and now a little cheesy especially as these tunes have that catchy nature which means you won't get them out of your head afterwards.

What this all boils down to is that "Slaughter Trail" is just a generic western but one which becomes memorable because of its musical score which is far too jaunty for a western and so not only feels out of place but becomes annoying rather than entertaining.