- 1 hr 27 min
Hellgate is a western film released in 1952 that stars Sterling Hayden, Joan Leslie, and Ward Bond. Directed by Charles Marquis Warren, the movie tells the story of a man named Wild Bill Hickok, who is seeking redemption for his past actions. The film opens with Wild Bill (Sterling Hayden) witnessing the murder of his best friend by a gang of bandits led by a man named Gentry (Ward Bond). Filled with rage and a thirst for revenge, Wild Bill sets out to track down the gang and bring Gentry to justice. Along the way, he meets a young woman named Ellen (Joan Leslie) and her father, a doctor, who are traveling to a remote mining town called Hellgate.
Upon arriving in Hellgate, Wild Bill learns that Gentry and his gang have taken over the town and are running a protection racket, forcing the miners to pay them for the right to extract gold from the mines. The situation is further complicated by a group of Native Americans who are angry about the destruction of their land and are threatening to attack the town.
As Wild Bill begins to investigate the situation in Hellgate, he discovers that there are many more layers to the story than he initially thought. He learns that the doctor, who he had befriended, is actually in cahoots with Gentry and is helping him to exploit the miners. Furthermore, Ellen, who he had grown close to, is actually engaged to Gentry and is torn between her loyalty to him and her growing feelings for Wild Bill.
As tensions continue to mount in Hellgate, Wild Bill must decide whether he wants to risk everything to bring Gentry to justice or whether he should walk away from the situation to start a new life elsewhere. Along the way, he must also confront his own demons and find a way to move on from the mistakes he has made in the past.
The acting in Hellgate is solid across the board, with Sterling Hayden delivering a strong performance as Wild Bill Hickok. He brings a sense of intensity and vulnerability to the role that makes the character feel real and sympathetic. Joan Leslie is also great as Ellen, conveying both her conflicted feelings and her strength in the face of adversity.
The film's direction is generally solid, with some well-staged action scenes and effective use of the film's settings to create a sense of tension and atmosphere. The movie's themes of redemption and the struggle to make amends for one's past are also handled well, making for a thought-provoking viewing experience.
If you're a fan of classic westerns or are looking for an engaging film with strong performances and a compelling story, then Hellgate is definitely worth a watch. With its solid pacing, well-drawn characters, and poignant themes, it is a movie that is sure to stick with you long after the credits have rolled.
Hellgate is a 2021 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.