Jim Douglas has been relentlessly pursuing the four outlaws who murdered his wife, but finds them in jail about to be hanged. While he waits to witness their execution, they escape; and the... See full summary »
Filmed by Eagle-Lion right after THE SUNDOWNERS (1950) near some of the same Amarillo locations and with returning cast members Chill Wills, Jack Elam and the 'star', gawky teenager John Drew Barrymore. No Robert Preston to give some weight to the film, this time.
Story boils down to a boy, "Cooncat" (Barrymore) running away from an abusive home and witnessing a murder committed by Elam and Dave Kashner. Only the local ranch owner Horse Davis (Basil Ruysdael) and his family don't believe him. They think Cooncat's seeing ghosts because Cooncat's describing some men that were killed during a range war 15 years previously. Of course there are no ghosts. Cooncat actually did see the murder. I won't give away the ending but lets just say it too is as anti-climatic as the THE SUNDOWNERS was.
This also suffers from some of the same disjointed editing that that earlier film had suffered from, as well as Barrymore doing his silly facial grimaces while he overacts his part. And the way John Archer treats his bride-to-be Kristine Miller, needs to be seen to be believed. He spanks her on the bottom for shooting down a pan off the wall in order to prove a point. Then they kiss and make up like nothing happened. UN-REAL. Obviously some of the details in the script weren't worked out for the audience ahead of time.
Also filmed in Technicolor with nice scenic West Texas locations, it's worth a look but it's not a keeper, in my opinion.
4 out of 10
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