In The Violent Men, Glenn Ford plays a rancher who owns a small spread in a valley being consumed by a hardbitten, crippled rancher played by Edward G. Robinson. Robinson's character was a pioneer, and feels that he is entitled to get as much of territory as he can get his hands on, and is close to getting it all, except for Ford's ranch and a few other small ranches.
Ford is getting ready to sell out to Robinson when the movie begins, but quickly changes his mind when Robinson's tactics become more and more violent. Robinson is aided by a seemingly dutiful wife, play by Barbara Stanwyck (very different from the Helen Barkley character she would play years later on the television series, The Big Valley), and by Robinson's younger, hotheaded brother, played by Brian Keith. Robinson also has a daughter who is none too fond of his tactics.
When Ford decides to stay, he organizes the other small ranchers, and a fullscale range war begins, with scorched earth tactics employed by both sides. Complicating matters is the fact that Stanwyck and Keith are having an affair, and have their own plans for Robinson's cattle empire.
The Violent Men is a very enjoyable western with solid performances by everyone involved.