Garden of Evil


Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 57%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2235


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 3,838 times
October 04, 2016 at 11:14 PM



Rita Moreno as Cantina Singer
Gary Cooper as Hooker
Susan Hayward as Leah Fuller
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
753 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 3 / 6
1.54 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 4 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by weezeralfalfa 6 / 10

What? Mohawks , on horses, in Mexico?!

No wonder we never got more than a fleeting look at the supposed Apaches, lofting arrows into the members of a rescue party. The director must have recognized that his movie would be laughed at by anyone with an elementary knowledge of Native Americans.

While the fade out provides some hope that the characters played by Gary Cooper and Susan Hayward might find some happiness together, with or without any gold they managed to scavenge, this tale is basically a tragedy. The supposed main purpose of the expedition into hostile Apache territory: to save the life of Susan's husband((John Fuller), injured in a mine shaft cave in, is a failure, due primarily to interference by Apache, rather than to his death before they arrived. The additional goal of bringing out enough gold to, at least, pay the high wages of the rescuers, is left unanswered, as survival in the presence of the Apache became the overriding concern. It would have been nice to add a scene at the end, where Cooper and Susan discuss their future, and show some romantic feeling for each other. Left as was, he aren't even sure if the Apache have given up hope of killing them.....The expedition was also a tragedy for the Apache families of those slain by the expedition members, although this is given no consideration.

Susan reminisces that the Mexican who gave her a map of this region called it 'The garden of evil', partly because of the Apache, but also partly because a volcanic eruption had covered various previous gold mining operations, killing the miners. Furthermore, as dramatized in this film, the dangers inherent in mining are a significant risk. Fuller knew that he was much slowing down the attempt to leave Apache country alive. Thus, he rode off by himself to await his fate at the hands of the Apache. Interestingly, the Apache tied him upside down on a stone Christian cross, his body shot full of arrows. Perhaps this had a symbolic significance, assuming the Apache were familiar with the significance of the cross as a Christian symbol.

Presumably, the ship that brought these 3 adventurers to this backwater village of Puerto Miguel, was primarily a freighter, as we see no hint of other passengers being deposited on shore while the engine is repaired. As they were on route to try their luck at finding gold in CA, probably , this was 1849 or 50, very early in the age of steam travel across oceans. Although they claimed they were strangers to each other, it's difficult to imagine that they had not struck up some familiarity on such a long voyage, as the presumed only passengers. Once ashore, they were drawn to the cantina where the beautiful Rita Moreno was singing a romantic song. But, they seemed more interested in the American played by Susan, who sauntered in later, looking for a few brave souls to help her get her husband out of harm's way. Only one Mexican signed up: the one who claimed Rita as his girlfriend. Presumably, he wanted to bring back a big paycheck and perhaps some gold with which to impress Rita. As things turned out, the other Mexicans were smart to pass up the opportunity for riches.

There are a number of dialogues of interest, most taking place at the mine. Susan's husband(John) goes on a tirade about how all women are only interested in how much gold(in the broad sense) their husband can bring home to satisfy their fancies. Susan claims she no longer loves John, but is willing to risk her life and that of others to extricate him from his otherwise fatal situation. Perhaps she does this largely out of guilt over bringing him to this evil place to try to strike it rich. This should bring up in our minds the question of how much risk to the lives and property of others is justified in attempting to rescue a person, with the consideration of what are the chances of a successful rescue. Some of us have to make such decisions rather frequently.

Filming took place in several Mexican locations. See it in color at YouTube.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 9 / 10

Hathaway at his best!

Copyright 23 June 1954 by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Roxy: 9 July 1954. U.S. release: July 1954. U.K. release: December 1954. London opening at the Odeon Marble Arch. Australian release: 14 October 1954. Sydney opening at the Plaza. 8,868 feet. 99 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Stranded in a Mexican fishing village, three American gold hunters agree to help rescue a man trapped in a remote mine.

NOTES: Fox's 13th CinemaScope movie and the first to be photographed with an improved CinemaScope lens that provided greater clarity, sharpness and depth of field.

VIEWER'S GUIDE: A borderline case. May be too violent for some children.

COMMENT: Without CinemaScope it's doubtful if "Garden of Evil" would have recouped its negative cost (including three high-priced stars, plus lots of location lensing in the ruggedly picturesque mountainous wilds of Mexico). That it actually made a fair profit is a tribute to CinemaScope's box-office drawing power.

Of course it's always possible that in the energetic yet stylish hands of Hollywood's master of action and location lensing, Henry Hathaway, and with stars like Cooper, Hayward and Widmark, the movie would have made money even in normal-screen black-and-white, but it would certainly have been a gamble.

With CinemaScope (plus Bernard Herrmann's full-blooded, atmospheric score in stereophonic sound) there was never a day's worry that the film would fail to pull in the paying customers. This still is a finely crafted movie, with plenty of stirring Hathaway action including a heart-pounding chase climax down a steeply twisting, rock-strewn, narrow ledge of a mountain trail, plus appealing performances from a top group of charismatic players.

Reviewed by SimonJack 5 / 10

Great cast and scenery can't save a film with a lousy script

No one will doubt that "Garden of Evil" has a great cast. Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark and Cameron Mitchell are leads; Hugh Marlowe and Victor Mendoza are in supporting roles; and Rita Morena has something a little more than a cameo. But a cast is only as good as their performances. And their performances depend a great deal on the script they have with which to work. This film fails miserably mostly because of a terrible script. And the acting is generally sub-par for most of the cast – and very bad by Gary Cooper.

The DVD I watched had a bonus with it on the making of this film. It is referred to as a morality tale about greed, good and evil. But the script is so terrible that it ruins everything about the story. A couple of other reviewers saw the same thing. The writers tried to make the Cooper and Widmark roles philosophical. Ergo, the terse, flat replies, especially by Cooper. They come across as wisecracks or put-downs. Then, Widmark's character waxes poetic frequently about any situation. Again, to what point or avail?

Susan Hayward's Leah Fuller is driven to find help to rescue a man caught in a cave-in. Well, is it her husband, or isn't it? He doesn't call her honey or darling, but "You," a person who came back. She doesn't call him darling or honey or husband. We don't ever know if they are man and wife until he's killed by Indians and they bury him on the trail. Leah takes her wedding ring off and presses it into the dirt over his grave.

Is she driven by love, gold or what? The screenplay raises many questions in the minds of the audience, and it never answers most of them. Hayward is OK in her role, even if we never learn exactly what her aims may be. Mitchell overacts, and Widmark's Fiske is a very talkative role that seems to be philosophical but doesn't make sense much of the time. We never know why Marlowe doesn't seem to have affection for Leah. Was he driven by her to look for gold? Did she marry him so that he would find a gold mine for her, or was it for love? Or both?

The most disappointing and frustrating role to me is Cooper's Hooker. Toward the end we find out that he formerly was a sheriff. But now he's a fortune hunter, along with the rest, heading West on a steamship for the gold fields of California. His lines are so poor, I can't believe he would take this part in a movie. They seem to affect his whole character and he is wooden throughout the film. Cooper was 53 when this movie was made, and he died seven years later of prostate cancer. I thought he may have been ill in this film because he seemed very old, and never is there a close-up of his face. Yet he made a few very good films after this one.

Then, there are the Indians. Did Apaches range as far south as the jungles of southern Mexico? When Hooker and Fiske shoot the Indians pursuing them on the cliff trail, they must have been terrible shots – or they shot the horses. I think every Indian that fell over the cliff screamed

The only reason this movie gets even five stars from me is for the scenery. This is one of the first films shot in Cinemascope, which was the invention of Fox Films. I remember reading or hearing a commentary recently about one of the top directors who didn't like the wide panorama format of Cinemascope. But this clearly was a movie for that. And, its sweeping panoramas and vistas shot in the mountains and jungles of southern Mexico are beautiful to behold. It's just too bad that Fox wasn't as interested in having a movie with a very good screenplay as it was in filming as many movies as it could in its new format.

In this case, the format is the only reason to see this movie. Unless one wants to see a top cast in a poor movie with a terrible script and some weak to very bad performances. If viewers are interested in seeing a Western about gold and greed, I recommend a couple of excellent films. "Mackenna's Gold" of 1969 has a top notch cast with Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas, Keenan Wynn, Lee J. Cobb, Raymond Massey and Julie Newmar. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" of 1948 won three Oscars and starred Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt and Bruce Bennett.

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