Owen’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was very close to not rating this as the good and bad points don't really coalesce into something that I could get a proper handle on. It felt a lot like a literary adaptation that couldn't fit in everything and couldn't explicitly touch some of it's themes that also happened to luck out in having Stanwyck and Mann onboard and firing on most of their cylinders.
It looks gorgeous and Stanwyck is superb but the script is too on the nose about both it's freudian and classical aspects and the male actors just don't really compliment what Stanwyck is doing. I've liked Wendell Corey elsewhere, his manner can come across as detached and add some cynical humour to things but he's not cut out for sweeping family saga melodrama/pseudo greek tragedy and just comes across as stiff and uninterested and not in anyway a fit partner for Stanwyck. Huston has his moments, they are as broad as hell but they are here, but there's also a lot of ham.
I liked the plot, the family and economic machinations are all interesting but the dialogue is stale and spells out and repeats stuff that is already painfully obvious and doesn't have a moment of wit to it.
It does have a real sense of place, Mann does get across both the ranch that they are all fighting over and the sense of corrupt over extended ambition and I really liked the final mexican revenge aspects even if they had done too much to sweeten everyone else by that point.
I know a lot of people love it, I loved bits of it, Mann and stanwyck are everything you'd expect and i'm a huge fan of both, but the scripting and supporting acting doesn't help them out and it felt like something that was at once gripping and less than the sum of it's parts for me.