Devil's Doorway was the first of many top-rank westerns directed by Anthony Mann. RobertTaylor is cast against type as a Native American named Lance Poole. Returning to his people's land after the Civil War, Poole discovers that the Indians are being victimized and persecuted--and, thanks to machinations of crooked lawyer Verne Coolan (Louis Calhern), it's all legal. Unable to turn to the Law to protect his tribesmen, Lance becomes what white men call a "renegade." Devil's Doorway was the vanguard of a new western cycle of the early 1950s, wherein the Indians were the good guys and the whites the villains. Had it been made 30 years later, it is likely that the star would have been a genuine Native American, rather than a white matinee idol in "redface."