Barkering Up the Wrong Tree
Following a series of stage coach robberies, special investigator Jeff Carr (Lex Baker) arrives in Tomahawk to get to the bottom of things, nearly not making it as a lynch mob try to hang him for a murder. In Tomahawk Jeff soon learns that local sheepman, Alec Black (Stephen McNally) is who everyone suspects of being behind things but quickly discovers he is innocent although that complicates matters as Jeff falls for Holly (Mara Corday), Alec's girl. But Jeff gets to the bottom of things when he meets Ranse Jackman (John Dehner) a politically ambitious man who with his brothers have been robbing the stage to fund his campaigning.
I only need to mention two things to review "The Man from Bitter Ridge" starting with the fact that 99.9% of this movie is generic. Stage coach robberies, special investigators, corrupt business man, romantic tribulations it has so many familiar elements that at times you may even question whether or not you have watched it before. The thing is that being mostly generic doesn't make "The Man from Bitter Ridge" a bad movie, in fact those who are accustom to watching 50's westerns are unlikely to expect much more than typical. But it does mean that for most of the movie it struggles to fully get your attention.
The other thing worth mentioning is the movies one positive and trust me it is not Lex Barker who frankly ends up a handsome but bland hero. Nope the one thing worth mentioning about "The Man from Bitter Ridge" is the political motivation of the Jackson brothers behind their stage coach robberies. It is the only thing which is different in the entire movie although not enough to lift this 50's western out of just being another western.
What this all boils down to is that "The Man from Bitter Ridge" is another one of those movies which fans of older westerns will watch just to add it to their list of movies they have seen. But it is a mainly an extremely typical western with little to make it memorable.