Clay Hardin, a Deputy U.S. Marshal, is about to turn in his badge and take the job as the territory's Indian commissioner until the notorious Ben Thompson slays the marshal when he tried to... See full summary »
Clay Hardin, a Deputy U.S. Marshal, is about to turn in his badge and take the job as the territory's Indian commissioner until the notorious Ben Thompson slays the marshal when he tried to make an arrest. Clay turns his back on a white-collar job and his girl to pursue the gang. Picking up a bounty hunter and a beautiful half-breed woman along the way, the little band follows the trail into Apache land where the lawman discovers that the outlaws plan to sell repeating rifles to the Indians. Written by
Shotgun is directed by Leslie Selander and collectively written by Clark E. Reynolds, Rory Calhoun and John C. Champion. It stars Sterling Hayden, Yvonne DeCarlo, Zachary Scott and Guy Prescott. A Technicolor production with music by Carl Brandt and cinematography by Ellsworth Fredricks.
Standard revenge themed Oater set amongst the beautiful back drop of Sedona in Arizona. Story follows a familiar trajectory. Ben Thompson (Prescott) hits town after a long stint in jail, he's after the blood of the lawmen who put him there. When tragedy strikes during this act of revenge, Marshal Clay Hardin (Hayden) sets off in pursuit. Out on the trail he will acquire companionship in the form of saddle tramp Abby (DeCarlo) and bounty hunter Reb Carlton (Scott). A pressure cooker atmosphere is generated between the three of them as we head towards the finale where the Apache join the fray and truth, justice and consequence will out.
Selander was an old pro at the Western game, unfortunately in this instance his inexperience with "tougher" themed Oaters shows. It is all very workmanlike and he fails to rein in DeCarlo's overacting and ignite a flame in Hayden who is in one of his "I'm only doing it for the money" moods. However, spurts of violence are handled efficiently enough to liven up the middle third when the picture threatens to sink into a boorish pot of beans. There's also a nice twist on the duel formula at film's end, with machismo and tricks showing a hand to reward the patient. It isn't a must see for Western fans, and frustrations reside within, but there's enough to keep it above average. Sometimes beautiful scenery and Sterling Hayden riding into an Apache camp with muscles flexed is enough to pass the time of day with. And so it proves here. 6.5/10
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