In the old West, a small frontier town is being controlled by ruthless mob boss Decker and his cronies. After the local sheriff dies under mysterious circumstances, Decker arranges to have ... See full summary »
Indian Agent sent to try new approach to peace with Apaches based on respect for automomy rather than submission to Army. Wins over reservation chiefs and the Indian widow (Bancroft) given ... See full summary »
Murphy deserts the Union Army to warn former Texas neighbors of impending Indian attacks triggered by Army massacre. He overcomes initial distrust and convinces the homesteaders (all women ... See full summary »
Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »
A romantic comedy with action and suspense. Two sophisticated jewel thieves join forces to steal $30 million in uncut jewels. Despite a continuous exchange of quips they eventually become ... See full summary »
Peter R. Hunt
When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian nations, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. Only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.
A gang of claim jumpers is infesting the territory, gaining ownership of undermanned mining operations through extortion...and leaving no live witnesses. But one victim, quick-drawing gambler Luke Cromwell, escapes. Meanwhille, Marshal Lightnin' Tyrone is also after the gang; recovering from one raid, he meets femme fatale Opal Lacy, who may not be healthy for him to know. When Luke, now calling himself the Silver Kid, joins forces with Marshal Tyrone, the gang had better watch out ...unless something drives a wedge between the new allies. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When 'Pop' Muzik is shot, immediately as the dead body is shown, the hand is seen to be moving. See more »
Marshal Lightning Tyrone:
Just a minute! I'm probably wasting my breath, but I'm going to give you some advice. Get out of town pronto. Get yourself a job and quit poker. Poker is a man's game.
Luke Cromwell - The Silver Kid:
I can take care of myself.
Marshal Lightning Tyrone:
Oh sure, I know you're fast with your guns, but sooner or later you'll meet a man that's faster or that doesn't fight square and then you're off to Boot Hill. No, you're bucking a sucker's game, Kid. You can't beat it.
Luke Cromwell - The Silver Kid:
I guess that's good advice, Marshal, but I ain't takin' it. Besides, how to handle a ...
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I watched this film when it was recently shown on British television, largely because it was an early work by Don Siegel, at the time an up-and-coming young director, but later to become one of Hollywood's most distinguished directors, responsible for films as good as "Dirty Harry" and "The Shootist". It is a Western of the traditional heroes-and-villains variety. The villains are a gang of claim jumpers whose victims are the local miners. Their method of working is a simple one. They pick on a lone miner, force him to sign over his claim under threat of death, and then kill him anyway so he cannot inform on them. (The film does not point out the obvious hole in the scheme, namely that the claim jumpers will not be able to enforce their rights to the claims they take over in this way without revealing their identities).
The main heroes are the local Marshal and the Silver Kid, a young gambler and gunfighter whose father was one of the claim jumpers' victims and who joins forces with the Marshal to seek his revenge. There are two complicating factors. One is that the Marshal has fallen in love with a young woman named Opal Lacey who is secretly in league with the killers. The other is that the Marshal has been shot in the shoulder, an injury which affects his ability to handle a gun.
The best-known actor in the film is Audie Murphy. He made a few good films, most notably "The Red Badge of Courage", but a lot of his output consisted of routine Westerns. Murphy always seemed to be struggling against two disadvantages. The first was the fact that because he had become well-known to the American public for something other than his acting- he was a much-decorated war hero- he was unable to ditch his odd, feminine-sounding Christian name in favour of something more rugged. The second was his smooth, youthful looks which meant that he was frequently typecast as a callow young greenhorn even when he was in his thirties.
Here, however, Murphy is pretty good as the Kid, a brash and undisciplined but basically decent young man who gradually grows in courage and stature. I would agree with the reviewer who pointed out that the relationship between the Kid and Steve McNally's older, wiser Marshal is similar to that between John Wayne and Ricky Nelson in "Rio Bravo". (I've never seen "El Dorado", the other film he mentions).
"Duel at Silver Creek" is a fairly standard Western. As others have pointed out, its plot- the one about the heroic lawman tackling a gang of bandits- is familiar enough to be called a cliché, although that in itself does not mean that the film itself will be a bad one. After all, some very good Westerns, and at least two great ones ("High Noon" and "Gunfight at the OK Corral") have been based around it. "Duel .." is in nothing like the same class as those two films, but Siegel handles the action well, showing signs of the great director he was to become. It may be a B-movie, but it is a fast-paced, entertaining and enjoyable one. 6/10
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