World War II hero turned baby-faced Hollywood cowboy Audie Murphy hides behind a little stubble to play a hired gun who wanders into town looking for a would-be assassin and wanders out the owner of a troubled ranch.
- Approached by a prissy gambler to scare tough old man Paul Kelly off his spread, he winds up winning cagey Kelly's property in a game of chance and leads a cattle drive through the high country while a gang of the gambler's mercenaries try to stop him.
With more twists than your average Hollywood oater, a curiously shady cast of characters on both sides of the law, and gorgeous outdoor scenery, it's better than most of Universal's factory-produced Westerns.
Chalk it up to producer Aaron Rosenberg, who put together some of Anthony Mann's and Budd Boetticher's best films for the studio, and director Nathan Juran (The Seventh Voyage of
Tough-talking Murphy carries little menace no matter how much he grimaces, and love interest Susan Cabot tries hard to be tough but tender, to little avail.
It's the taut (if abbreviated) action and swift pacing that make this picture ride.
Sean Axmaker, Amazon
The Illustrated History of Movies Through Posters Series
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Western TV Classics Posters available:
Western Actors | Big Valley
Gunsmoke | Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
Lone Ranger | Wild, Wild West
Western Movie Posters