Vengeance Valley: Richard Thorpe’s Western, Starring Burt Lancaster, Robert Walker, Joanne Dru

This year marks the centennial of Burt Lancaster, the versatile, muscular star, who had just about appeared in every Hollywood genre: film noir, biopics, thrillers, Westerns, and melodramas.

Vengeance Valley

MGM’s Western, Vengeance Valley, directed by Richard Thorpe, serves as yet another biblical allegory of the Cain and Abel story.

Burt Lancaster, in top form, stars as Owen Daybright, a man who has been raised as a son by rancher Arch Stroble (Ray Collins). Stroble’s biological son Lee (Robert Walker) has always been envious of Owen, due to the latter’s physical and moral strength.

For his part, Owen has spent most of his life pulling Lee out of trouble and keeping his misdeeds from the elder Stroble.

When Lee fathers an illegitimate child, he tries to shift the responsibility on Owen, leading to a threatening confrontation with the vengeance-seeking brothers of the baby’s mother (Sally Forrest).

Joanne Dru costars as Lee’s long-suffering wife Jen, who harbors a secret yearning for Owen.


Running time: 83 Minutes.

Directed by Richard Thorpe.

Written by Irving Ravetch