Branded is a pleasing western that has a bit more plot and appeal than the average.
Rudolph Mate, photographer-turned-director, demonstrates he has not lost his hand at his former art. He and cameraman Charles B. Lang Jr must be given a score for at least part of Branded ‘s appeal on basis of the Technicolor scenic work along the Rio Grande.
Yarn [from a novel by Evan Evans] finds Alan Ladd a no-good who figures on stealing the fortune of a cattle family by making like he’s the long-lost son who was kidnapped at five. He doesn’t figure, however, on falling for his ‘sister’ and getting right fond of mom and pop. Ladd’s inability to indicate successfully a transition from scoundrel to a kid with a 24-karat heart makes the story at times harder to digest than it should be.