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At a desert inn, Cully's outlaw gang meet former associate Simon Bhumer, now planning to retire on a farm with his wild, luscious daughter Lolly. On a stormy night, Cully and Lolly almost have an affair, broken up by Simon who still has a fast draw. But later, as the gang heads for the border after a bank robbery, they encounter the Bhumers and a band of renegade Apaches. It's soon a question of who is pursuing whom. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Four Guns to the Border is directed by Richard Carlson and collectively written by George Van Marter, Franklin Coen and Louis L'Amour. It stars Rory Calhoun, Colleen Miller, George Nader, Walter Brennan, Nina Foch, John McIntire, Charles Drake and Jay Silverheels. Music is by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Russell Metty.
A little ole devil of an Oater is this. The outlaw machinations and manoeuvres of Rory Calhoun's gang of robbers is kind of secondary to the sex angle of the plotting. The pic is ripe with sexual frustrations, born out by Colleen Miller's blossoming from tomboy daddies girl into a sex-kitten. There is nary a moment missed to sexualise the stunning Miss Miller, she gets wet a lot, and looks amazing with it, she suggestively licks a candy stick, and on it goes.
It would appear on the surface that these are cheap tactics to put horny Western fan's bums on seats, but there's a relevant thread running through the piece. That of awakenings, or growing up if you like. Be it Miller's discovering and curiosity about her sexuality, to the outlaw gang who seem perpetually stuck in a world of youthful exuberance, the constant "growing up" theme purposely nudging all observers.
"We haven't seen an Indian all day"
"Sometimes that's when they're closest"
Lest I forget to mention this is an action movie as well! Standard Oater conventions do apply in the action stakes, with Calhoun (a very under valued actor in the Western pantheon) exuding machismo at every opportunity. There's Apache attacks, fisticuffs, shoot-outs, deaths and chases, you know, the stuff we Western fans love in our 50s Oater diets. There's a running fun thread that sees Silverheels (who gets the best costume) and Nader taking each other on in friendly bouts of fighting, while a sub-plot involving Foch and Drake adds meat to the thematic stew.
Thoroughly enjoyable and not without some intelligence and racy merit as well, Four Guns to the Border is well worth checking out. 7.5/10
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