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 »
Audie Murphy is again the kid who puts on a badge to catch the bad guy, skillfully played by Barry Sullivan. On the way back to town the two develop a curiously close relationship - ... See full summary »
Jim Harvey is hired to guard a small wagon train as it makes its way west. The train is attacked by Indians and Harvey, hoping to persuade Aguila, the chief, to call off the attack due to ... See full summary »
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.
As Lt. Jed Sayre struggles to prevent pre-Civil War tensions and a racist commanding officer from triggering war between the U.S. Cavalry and Navajo Indians, he finds his efforts are being undermined by the machinations of Confederate sympathizers. Written by
"Column South" (1953) features Audie Murphy, Robert Sterling, Dennis Weaver and Ray Collins all in crisp performances, with Murphy's romantic interest being Joan Evans, playing the sister of Sterling. The setting is attractive and the story interesting.
To an extent it parallels "Fort Apache" with Sterling taking Fonda's part. Sterling, bringing Evans along, takes over a command post in a New Mexico fort occupied by U.S. cavalry. They are roughly 2/3 Union-oriented and 1/3 South-oriented, and it is the eve of the Civil War. Sterling is a southerner who takes the native Navajos, headed by Dennis Weaver, as savages. He's looking for an excuse to fight them and make his reputation. Evans is repulsed by Indians too. Audie Murphy, the experienced lieutenant and friend of Weaver, has to hustle just to keep a war between Navajo and cavalry from breaking out and to save Sterling's life when he rides the troop into an ambush situation.
Having stabilized that situation, Murphy still can't breathe easy. Unknown to him and Sterling (at first), a really dastardly plot of Ray Collins, the general above Sterling, is swinging into action. Collins is a southerner (a Copperhead) and operates an elaborate plan that will win the war for the South. This plan seeks to set the cavalry against the Navajo and vice versa, diverting them from other action; and to send them on a wild goose chase after Apache. Both Murphy and Sterling are placed into situations not of their making that require moral decisions.
The story tends to lose its interesting psychological and moral conflicts toward the end and become dominated by fighting. It has some difficulty in following through with the effects on the characters of the Collins scheme. This dissipates the emotional potential. Good acting does what it can to save the day and makes this film still of interest as a western and an Audie Murphy western.
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