Audie Murphy comes into his own as a Western star in this story. Wrongly accused by crooked railroad officials of aiding a train heist by his old friends the Daltons, he joins their gang ... See full summary »
The story may have more holes than Grandma's sieve, but it's still worth catching up with. For one, it's got cult actress Janis Carter who always shows more eyeball than ought to be legally allowed, along with the high-class George Macready just then perfecting his mad cackle-- and whoever in production thought his cultured voice was not a dead give-a-way. It's also one of director Buddy Boetticher's first outings, and already he's a camera mastercatch those graceful dolly moves across the cut-a-way rooms. Then there's literary muscleman and masseuse Mike Mazurki throttling Macready's face blue while on a flight of poetic abandon. I just wish some of that imagination had carried over to repairing the story holes, like how crank-confessor Trevor Bardette knows so many details of the killings. Speaking of Bardette, his highly enthused performance suggests A-grade pay for a B-grade movie, making his mad lather a movie high point. Clearly, the 50-dollar budget didn't go into lighting since some scenes resemble a bat's cave and require the eyes of one to make out what's happening. Nonetheless, the film has almost as many promising noirish elements as the classic Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)as another reviewer aptly compares. Too bad someone didn't send the script down to Rewrite for some hole-plugging plaster.
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