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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>
Even though the title is Masterson of Kansas, It's James Griffiths' Doc Holiday who's the most interesting character. His quiet, cultured manner radiates more deadliness than the generic Western manner of Montgomery's Masterson. Griffith was a good character actor who was worthy of better movies.
The problem with the Masterson of this movie is that the real Masterson was a bit of a dandy (more like Gene Barry's TV version) whereas here he's no different than Wyatt Earp.
Of the three 'good guys' Holiday, Masterson and Earp, Holdiay seems the most intelligent. Masterson knowingly takes on about 8 bad guys who are waiting for him and almost gets killed but for Holiday's intervention. Earp's attempt to face down a lynch mob lasts about 5 seconds when he gets knocked unconscious by a well thrown rock. That would never have happened to Burt Lancaster! Unfortunately for the viewer, the bad guys are not menacing enough and waste time with elaborate plotting. Makes you long for Lee Marvin or Leo Gordon.
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