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B western with Touches of Ambition

Author: Mozjoukine ( from Australia
6 May 2013

Even this early in his career, Joe Lewis is trying to inject quality touches into his work on this formula singing cowboy western. Shots are continually foregrounded by tethered horses, prison bars, a spit roasted carcass or the wagon wheel, which keeps on appearing in the director's westerns.

With his lip rouge and spotless white hat, hero Baker is a restraint on any ambition but the rest of the film is pushed towards realistic handling. There's some well staged action, which may be second hand, and Willy Fung's stereotypical Chinese cook gets to be integrated into the plot surprisingly prominently. There's even a hint of the murderous family relations we'll see in the fifties westerns.

Enthusiasts will find this one better than most.

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