US, 1942, 82 minutes, Black and white.
Richard Dix, Preston Foster, Frances Gifford, Leo Carillo.
Directed by William Mc Gann.
American Empire is a rather grandiose name for a small, brief, B-budget western of the early '40s. The film is entertaining in its way although it has a cast of B-performers or stars who had passed their day. Richard Dix, Preston Foster and Leo Carillo as the villain.
While much of the action and characterisation is conventional, the film portrays the way of life on the rivers after the Civil War, the antagonism of the settlers with the cattle-rustlers and their financial deals and the establishment of American empires in cattle homesteads? The film has its usual romance but also shows the obsession of the land baron who came from nothing into being a cruel and ambitious and ruthless man. His eyes are opened, not before time, and there is a happy ending. While the material is the familiar story from so many westerns, it is treated quite effectively and briefly in this typical western.