In a film incorrectly reported as Bill Elliott's last starring western, "Bitter Creek" (released in March of 1954 carrying 16843 as the PCA number) falls a tab bit short of that as it was ...
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In a film incorrectly reported as Bill Elliott's last starring western, "Bitter Creek" (released in March of 1954 carrying 16843 as the PCA number) falls a tab bit short of that as it was followed by "The Forty-Niners", (released two months later on May 9, 1954 with 16874 as the PCA number), but the correctly-reported absence of production values is duly noted. As Clay Tindall (Bill Elliott as Wild Bill Elliott), comes to a town in a search for the killer of his brother and quickly becomes unpopular with the townspeople who are unwillingly but submissive subjects to the whims of local cattleman Quentin Allen (Carleton Young) and his motley gang of hired hands and henchies. At the end, Elliott is given a typical line from his Columbia and Republic days that indicates that killing for revenge isn't admirable or the right thing to do, although he has just finished a rather thorough job of doing just that. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Way back in the day when he was Wild Bill Hickok or Red Ryder or any number of other western characters Bill Elliott always got in that tag line that became his catchphrase that he was a peaceable man before committing a whole lot of violence on some villains. By the next to last western film he did, this one for Allied Artists, there was no more pretensions or being a peaceable man.
This Elliott is out for the guy who shot his rancher brother in the back and signs point to Carleton Young who was the owner of the local Ponderosa at Bitter Creek and who moved in on the brother's spread. He's got a mean crew of gunslingers working for him including Claude Akins in one of his earliest films.
And if that isn't enough Elliott's showing an interest in Beverly Garland the prospective bride of Young. I think anyone who's seen even a handful of B westerns back in the days of the studio system knows exactly where this is going.
Allied Artists films aren't known for their production values. Bitter Creek is a lean and mean western in the latter days of Bill Elliott's career when he was specializing in lean and mean.
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