Rancho Notorious ★★★

An obsessive noir man-hunt, a tale of revenge, a romantic triangle, and the artifice of a back-lot western with a bold narrative country western ballad running through that must be either embraced or loathed. Rancho Notorious plunges into a mythologized American West learned, it seems, entirely from western cinema and filtered through Lang's dark cynicism. The closest thing we have to heroes in the tale are Arthur Kennedy as Vern Haskell and Marlene Dietrich as Altar Keane; both tired, worn, and world-weary and often seeming like they'd just as soon someone put them out of their misery so they don't have to continue surviving.

The movie has its flaws and failures but it's also rather compelling, in part because those ambitious flaws make it stand out .