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Ellen Beldon is due to be hanged in Texas for the murder of her husband but Jud Farrow, ranch foreman for her uncle, breaks her out of jail and escorts her to the safety of her uncle's New Mexico ranch. Mace Beldon, her father-in-law, offers professional gunman Gil McCord five-thousand dollars to bring her back to Texas so she can be hung. He is able to get her away and, during the trip back, she tells him the story of her trial. She claims her brother-in-law, Kell Beldon, shot his step-brother (her husband)so that he would be his father's sole heir, and that drunken fur-trapper Elby Kirby was the only witness. Gill decides to see Kirby and force a confession from him. Meanwhile, Kell gets Ellen back by chance and turns her over to the law. Gill gets an order from the district judge to stop the execution, and Kell, seeing his story falling apart tries to out-shoot Gill. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
with Vince Edwards and Chuck Connors this should have been better
The Hired Gun opens with a camera shot through the noose that is scheduled to go around the pretty neck of Ellen Beldon (Anne Francis), the first woman ever to face hanging in Texas. When she's rescued by Judd Farrow (Chuck Connors) and taken back to her family's ranch in New Mexico, the Texans hire Gil McCord (Rory Calhoun) to bring her back in order to carry out the sentence. The heavy backdrop of a potential hanging, especially of a woman, gives the film some dramatic weight, as does the trip back to Texas, after McCord has recaptured Ellen. The film could have been a lot more interesting if on the way back to Texas it had exploited some of the underlying lust between them. Instead it plays it safe with a few action scenes where a group of Indians attack and McCord kills them, thus putting the film in jeopardy of being a Saturday afternoon flick for the kiddy matinees. Considering the cast, which includes a good part for Vince Edwards as well as Chuck Conners, and the overall noir look due to the b & w cinematography, the film had the story ingredients and talent to be a minor masterpiece.
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