Jubal (film)

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Jubal (film poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDelmer Daves
Screenplay byRussell S. Hughes
Delmer Daves
Based onJubal Troop
by Paul Wellman
Produced byWilliam Fadiman
StarringGlenn Ford
Ernest Borgnine
Rod Steiger
CinematographyCharles Lawton Jr.
Edited byAl Clark
Music byDavid Raksin
Color processTechnicolor
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 24, 1956 (1956-04-24) (New York City)[1]
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.8 million (US)[2]

Jubal is a 1956 American Western film directed by Delmer Daves and starring Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger, Valerie French, and Felicia Farr. Shot in CinemaScope, it was one of the few adult westerns in the 1950s and is described as Othello on the Range.[3] The supporting cast features Noah Beery Jr., Charles Bronson and Jack Elam.


Jubal Troop (Glenn Ford) is a cowboy who is found in a weakened condition, without a horse. He is given shelter at Shep Horgan's (Ernest Borgnine) large ranch, where he quickly makes an enemy in Pinky (Rod Steiger), a cattleman who accuses Jubal of carrying the smell of sheep.

Horgan is a cheerful, agreeable fellow who is married to an attractive, much younger woman named Mae (Valerie French) whom he met in Canada. He takes an immediate shine to Jubal and offers him a permanent job. Behind his back Mae also has taken a liking to Jubal, which she expresses to him in no uncertain terms. Horgan is impressed with Jubal's work ethic and makes him foreman over the other cowhands. That further antagonises Pinky, whom Horgan does not trust.

Jubal fends off Mae's advances while developing an interest in Naomi (Felicia Farr), a young woman from a travelling wagon train of an unnamed religious group that the cowboys call "rawhiders." Pinky and the other cowboys try to run off the strangers and resent Jubal's interference on their behalf. Jubal's only ally is a drifter named Reb (Charles Bronson), who has attached himself to the wagon train. On Jubal's recommendation Reb is hired to help him at the ranch.

Pinky, who has carried on with Mae behind her husband's back, tells Horgan that his wife and Jubal have betrayed him. Horgan demands the truth from Mae, who angrily responds that she can't stand him and lies that Jubal has been seeing her.

An enraged Horgan rides to town and confronts Jubal, intending to kill him. Reb flips a gun to Jubal just in time and Horgan is shot dead.

Pinky makes another play for Mae, then beats her savagely when she pushes him away. Pinky then rallies the others to go after Jubal, persuading them that he stole Horgan's wife and murdered him. A posse gets the truth from a dying Mae, that her accusations toward Jubal were completely untrue. She also reveals, just before she dies, that Pinky beat her. The posse slowly circles Pinky and it's clear they intend to hang him. Jubal rides away with Naomi and Reb.



Rod Steiger's role was meant to be played by Columbia contract star Aldo Ray but he was unhappy at not receiving a bonus after being loaned out on other films, and refused to appear.[4]


Upon the film's release, film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum praised the film, calling it a "taut, neurotic melodrama".[5] Lee Pfeiffer from Cinema Retro, in a review of the Criterion Collection's blu-ray release of the film, compares it with Daves's seminal 3:10 to Yuma, saying "there is much in Jubal that rivals that classic".[citation needed] On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds 100% approval rating based on 10 reviews.[6]

Home media[edit]

Jubal was released by the Criterion Collection in Blu-Ray and DVD.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ TCM.com
  2. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  3. ^ Articles – TCM.com
  4. ^ Pryor, Thomas (July 25, 1955). "KRAMER AND U. A. SIGN 2-FILM PACT: Producer-Director's Contract Goes Into Effect in Spring After 'Pride and Passion'". The New York Times. p. 16.
  5. ^ "Jubal | Jonathan Rosenbaum". www.jonathanrosenbaum.net. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  6. ^ "Jubal (1956)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  7. ^ "Jubal". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved July 17, 2019.

External links[edit]