Colorado Sundown

Watch Colorado Sundown

"New Sensation of the Action Screen!"
  • Passed
  • 1952
  • 1 hr 7 min
  • 6.1  (175)

Colorado Sundown is a 1952 American Western film directed by William Witney and featuring Rex Allen, his faithful horse named Koko, Mary Ellen Kay, and Slim Pickens. Set in the picturesque mountainous terrain of Colorado, the movie is a classic example of the post-World War II Westerns that combined action, romance, and bucolic charm. The story unfolds in a milieu characteristic of the American frontier, with themes of land ownership, family legacies, and the struggle for justice underpinning the narrative.

Rex Allen plays the role of Ken McLaughlin, a rancher with a warm heart and sharp wit, who returns to his family's land in Colorado after learning about his brother's untimely death. His journey is driven by the need to piece together the mystery surrounding his brother's demise, and to carry on the family ranching tradition, balancing the stewardship of the land with the unpredictable forces of nature and humanity that define the Old West.

Upon his arrival, McLaughlin finds himself in the middle of a long-standing feud with a neighboring ranch, the wealthy Harkins family. Their encroachment on the McLaughlin property and dubious ambitions set the stage for tension and conflict. Drawing on his resilience and sense of justice, McLaughlin must navigate through a maze of deceit, betrayal, and simmering animosities to protect his birthright and restore peace to the community.

Mary Ellen Kay portrays the character of Abbie Harkins, the niece of the Harkins family patriarch, who, unbeknownst to her, is caught in the middle of the feud. Abbie is portrayed as a woman of substance and independence, traits that were gradually gaining prominence in the female characters of the '50s Westerns. Her evolving relationship with McLaughlin adds a layer of complexity and engaging chemistry to the storyline.

What sets Colorado Sundown apart and cements its place in the Western genre is the inclusion of musical interludes, where Rex Allen, also known as "The Arizona Cowboy," showcases his musical talents. The inclusion of songs is characteristic of Allen's films during this period, offering a respite from the action and lending a unique charm to the film that blends the appeal of the singing cowboy tradition with the adventure aspects of the Western narrative.

Slim Pickens, the inimitable character actor known for his roles in numerous Westerns, contributes comic relief and a touch of rugged wisdom in his role as Hap Selby, an affable yet sharp-minded sidekick to McLaughlin. His interactions with the main characters and ability to move the plot forward with humor and insight are a testament to the film's balance of drama and light-hearted moments.

The spectacle of the movie is heightened by the natural beauty of Colorado's landscape — the soaring peaks, dense forests, and sprawling meadows provide the backdrop for the on-screen drama and action sequences. These scenes are expertly captured through meticulous cinematography that conveys the grandeur and harshness of the American West. This also reflects the Hollywood trend during the early 1950s to return to outdoor filming after years of studio-bound productions, partly driven by the audience's growing craving for authenticity and expansive visuals.

While Colorado Sundown follows a familiar formula prevalent in Westerns of its time, the film does not fail to deliver the genre's promise of thrill and conflict. Viewers can expect the classic elements of a showdown between good and evil, horseback chases, and the quest for truth and retribution, all while maintaining a PG atmosphere that keeps the film family-friendly.

Moreover, the movie highlights the American cowboy ethos — the commitment to a way of life that values land, honest work, and community. In the character of Ken McLaughlin, audiences find an archetype of the rugged individual who, despite the odds stacked against him, demonstrates a moral clarity and dedication that resonates with wider audiences seeking quintessential heroes.

In essence, Colorado Sundown encapsulates the core of the Western narrative with its heroes, villains, and scenic vistas while also showcasing the talents of an era's beloved singing cowboy. It remains a piece of classic Americana that offers a snapshot of a bygone cinematic age and the undying allure of the Old West.

Colorado Sundown is a 1952 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 7 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Colorado Sundown
Where to Watch Colorado Sundown
Colorado Sundown is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, FlixFling, EPIX and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Colorado Sundown for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 7 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (175)