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 ...
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Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
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 and becomes an active participant in other robberies. Betrayed by a fellow gang member, Murphy becomes a fugitive in the end. Seeking refuge at the ranch of a reformed gang member, he hopes to flee with the man's daughter to South America, but he's captured in the end and led off to jail. The girl promises to wait. Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
Audie Murphy as outlaw Bill Doolin in a compact western
THE CIMARRON KID (1951) was one of about two dozen westerns Audie Murphy starred in at Universal Pictures in the period from 1950-1966. In brief, it tells the story of outlaw Bill Doolin who rode with the infamous Dalton gang in the disastrous raid on Coffeyville, Kansas, and went on to lead the gang's survivors in a subsequent robbery spree. A WWII hero-turned-movie star, Murphy plays Doolin as a misunderstood youth who gets forced into a life of crime through guilt by association and persecution by an overzealous railroad detective. Further complications ensue when Doolin falls in love with a rancher's daughter who wants him to go straight.
The film was directed by western specialist Budd Boetticher who provides quite a number of interesting touches. One of the gang members, played by James Best, has a Mexican girlfriend, known as Cimarron Rose (Yvette Dugay), who is an equal participant in the action and is used to acquire information about payroll shipments and assorted robbery targets. The other major woman character, rancher's daughter Carrie Roberts (Beverly Tyler), is pretty strong and forthright on her own and makes no attempt to play coy in her meetings with Doolin. She even comes up with a plan to help him leave the outlaw life, but one which he rejects.
Also, there is a significant black character, a man named Stacy (Frank Silvera) who provides support services for the gang, and who, while not actually a participant in their crimes, is dealt an equal share of the proceeds. There is a scene of him at home with his family--a wife and three children--that indicates his choice of a domestic life over an outlaw one, yet he is always treated with respect by the other men.
The rest of the cast consists of a mixed bag of character actors like Noah Beery Jr., Leif Erickson, Roy Roberts, John Hubbard, and Rand Brooks, and up-and-coming Universal contract players: James Best, Hugh O'Brian, John Bromfield, John Hudson, William Reynolds, Palmer Lee (Greg Palmer). At times they threaten to crowd the soft-spoken, unassuming Murphy off the screen, but Audie ultimately manages to hold his own. Boetticher and Murphy would work together one more time on Murphy's last film, A TIME FOR DYING (1971), in which the actor has a cameo as Jesse James.
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