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Edward L. Cahn
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This starts out as seeming like it's going to be a typical low budget western, but the script helps lift it later on.
The first third of the film is the weakest element. Watching Burr's poor stunt double and then watching the real Burr climbing up and down off of horses is not a real encouraging start. But the by the numbers set up has some unusual pay off elements later. Burr is fun, as he always was playing a bad guy, his career is a testament to changing and image as he became a highly successful good guy on television for the rest of his life after a career as bad guys in supporting parts in films. He's really a supporting player in this film too as there is a large section in which his character is off screen.
Once the movie settles down with the mismatched group --Bad guys, good guys, English father and daughter, Mexican and Native Americans who are all stuck in a house and the possibility of Spanish gold nearby the plot takes some nice twists and turns. The script introduces a few elements of racial tension and bigotry but these elements don't work very well with the poor performances of non-Indian actors in these parts.
The film seems to be a totally low budget bad guys on the run from a posse affair when it starts but don't give up on it. The photography by later A list DP (Credited here as Ben Kline, later to be known as Benjamin H. Kline) helps and elevates it throughout. There is/ are some poor stunt doubles in a few spots and a really poor rubber snake.
But on the plus side there is a large scale flashback scene to a set bound battle, and there is a well done real outdoor series of scenes with a character searching out clues to the missing gold. There are some not bad, for the time, special effects and the highlight of the film is a longish fist fight that goes on against and across various steep cliffs---it would make a good scene for a James Bond film. And there is some nice plot shifting that will lead you to wonder just who the heroes and bad guys really may be.
Too bad the supporting parts aren't better acted and more convincingly cast. It's a short movie with its heart in fast pace and B action, but that actually helps the film. Also this isn't necessarily a western, this plot could work just as well in other settings. Not that that makes the film good or bad, just another slightly unusual element in a film that has some usual low budget problems. The movie seems to use some stock footage in spots though this is pretty well done. The films virtues, and pretty well done script, help off=set these problems, if not totally overcoming its faults.
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