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Carl Benton Reid
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Dodge City Sheriff Bat Masterson is out to prove that a group of cattlemen have framed Merrick for murder because he negotiated a treaty granting the Kiowas a reserve in the grass country that the cattlemen wanted for their own grazing land. Knowing that the tribes will wage war again if Merrick is executed, Masterson begins a search for Clay Bennett who testified he saw the murder. Joining him in the hunt is Marshal Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, both for different purposes. Although Masterson and Holliday have a long standing feud, the latter is persuaded by Merrick's daughter Amy to help. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Decent, if by the numbers, Western has Bat Masterson (George Montgomery) and Doc Holliday (James Griffith) about to shoot it out when Wyatt Earp (Bruce Cowling) breaks it up. Soon a friend to the Indians is convicted of a crime he didn't commit and the Indians are threatening violence if the man dies for the crime. Now it's up to Bat, Doc and Earp to try and figure out who the real killer is. William Castle will always be remembered for the cheap horror movies he made at the end of his career and it's pretty funny to look back on his earlier days because you'll see countless Westerns that he did for Columbia. This here is one of them and it's certainly a lot better than some he made but at the same time no one is going to confuse this for the work of John Ford. I think for the most part the film remains childish and fun as there's never anything for you to take too serious. If you're into history then it's best to skip this film as there are many liberties taken but I guess that should go without saying. I thought mixing up the three characters made for an entertaining picture and I think the stuff with the Indians also made for some mild entertainment. The majority of the running time is dialogue with the three men constantly arguing with one another and making threats that you know will never happen. I did enjoy the cast with Griffith easily stealing the film as Holliday. He brings a certain toughness to the role but also handles some of the quieter moments dealing with his illness. Montgomery is a tad bit stiff but this actually helps the character and Cowling is fun as Earp. There have been countless films with Doc and Earp so if you want something serious then it's best to look elsewhere. This film here is just 72-minutes worth a "B" fun. Nothing serious. Just mindless entertainment.
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