In effect, modern cow town Spurline is run by Virgil Renchler, owner of the Golden Empire Ranch. One night, two of Virgil's henchmen go a little too far and beat a "bracero" ranch hand to death. Faced with an obvious cover-up and opposition on every hand, sheriff Ben Sadler is goaded into investigating. His unlikely ally: Renchler's lovely, self-willed and overprotected daughter. Will Ben survive Renchler's wrath? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
There isn't a yard of guts in this whole town. This isn't a town, it's a trained dog act! I'm tired of gettin' pushed around! One way or another I'm gonna get myself a couple of murderers tonight.
See more »
Seems like shapely actress Colleen Miller appears outside her regular clothes about as often as in them, as in nightgown and underwear. But then, the movie posters had to have something provocative to promote.
The premise itself has been around the block more than a few timesa reluctant lawman stands up to local tyrant despite opposition from frightened townspeople. Still, the movie works pretty well up to two points where the screenplay bucklesthe rope dragging and the town turn-around. Neither of these is very believable within context. But then, the film is on a budget and does have to motivate a wrap-up.
I gather producer Zugsmith helped finance Welles' next feature Touch of Evil (1957) in return for appearing here. The part is relatively small, and Welles underplays without the needed malevolence. Seems almost like he's walking through. Nonetheless, it's a solid cast of supporting players, familiar faces from thuggish Leo Gordon to Dragnet's Ben Alexander taking a break from the LAPD. The support works well to provide more color than usual.
Rather sad to see that earnest actor Jeff Chandler again, knowing he died unnecessarily at 42 as result of medical malpractice (a foreign object left inside following an operation, as I recall). He's quite good here as the conflicted sheriff struggling to do his duty.
All in all, it's a decent enough programmer, better than Zugsmith's usual quickie fare, thanks in large part (I expect) to under-rated director Jack Arnold.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?