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. The supporting cast features Noah Beery Jr., Charles Bronson and Jack Elam.
|Directed by||Delmer Daves|
|Screenplay by||Russell S. Hughes|
|Based on||Jubal Troop|
by Paul Wellman
|Produced by||William Fadiman|
|Cinematography||Charles Lawton Jr.|
|Edited by||Al Clark|
|Music by||David Raksin|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$1.8 million (US)|
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.
Upon the film's release, film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum praises the film, calling it a "taut, neurotic melodrama". 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". On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds 100% approval rating based on 10 reviews.