The Burning Hills


When Trace Jordan’s brother is murdered by members of the land-grabbing Sutton family he vows to report this injustice to the nearest Army fort.

ACTORS :  Tab Hunter, Natalie Wood, Skip Homeier


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The Burning Hills  Trace discovers the body of his brother Jerry and confronts Mr. Sutton, the crook responsible for his brother’s death. In self-defense, Trace shoots Mr. Sutton. Sutton sends his henchmen to hunt and kill a wounded and fleeing Trace. Maria, a half-breed Mexican girl whose father was murdered by Sutton, becomes Trace’s companion in flight.

It makes you miss the days when there were plenty of westerns.

The Burning Hills  Probably who saw this western in the fifties, would think of it as above average, in great Cinemascope and not with the typical western actors for the main roles. Tab Hunter would usually be in a western in a supporting role and Natalie Wood, besides “The Searchers” where she was still a child, did not make any westerns that I know about. But both of them came out well, and Natalie as Maria gives us a preview of the famous Maria she would be in “West Side Story”. The supporting cast is great, Skip Homeyer, Claude Atkins and Earl Holliman. If you like action scenes, shootouts and fist fights, here you will have plenty. Tab is Trace Jordan who sets up to find the killers of his brother who branded his cattle with JJ. He ends up shooting the big boss Sutton (Ray Teal) in self defense and wounded, has to run away to the hills where he is found by Maria (Natalie). Louis L’Amour wrote a lot of westerns, they are all good entertainment and so is this film. It makes you miss the good old days when there plenty of westerns at the movies.

An excellent, well-cast and well-acted western.

Both Tab Hunter and Skip Homeier put in excellent performances in this film. Both are well-cast for the roles they play – Tab, the “good guy” and Skip, the “bad, ruthless killer.” The final fight scene between Tab Hunter and Skip Homeier is one of the best I have seen staged in a western. The final outcome was in no way predictable. The movie stands up well after 40 years.

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