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Sidney Franklin Jr.,
Carl K. Hittleman
Ted de Corsia
Released from jail, John Wesley Hardin leaves an account of his life with the local newspaper. It tells of his overly religious father, his resulting life of cards and guns, and his love for his step-sister replaced on her death during a gun fight with that for dance-hall girl Rosie. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
An okay Western based loosely on fact. Viewers tuning in today are likely catching up with Hudson's first starring role, following several years in supporting parts. Now, when I think Western, I've got to admit Hudson doesn't spring first to mind. Nonetheless, whatever he lacks in frontier grit, he makes up for in energetic commitment. I also suspect that he and Adams are the best-looking twosome to appear in any oater, any time any place. In fact, Adams sports the sleekest array of supposed frontier fashion that I've seen.
The story itself is unexceptional and cheaply produced, never getting beyond LA area locations. Indeed, this may be the only Western where the indoors is more compelling to look at than the outdoors. The movie does come up with a bunch of up-and-coming supporting players, like Van Cleef, Weaver, Ansaratoo bad they don't get more screen time. Then too, McIntire's unusual dual role, both with Old Testament beards, had me confused until I consulted IMDb. I expect there's a backstory to this duplicate casting.
Producer Alland went from here to producing some of the most entertaining sci-fi of the decade e.g. It Came from Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). I'm just sorry he didn't insist here on sticking with the original ending (thanks, reviewer bkoganbing). A happy ending may have pleased audiences of the time, but the original would have been more memorable.
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