"Texas John Slaughter" was broadcast as a recurring series from October 1958 to April 1961 as part of the Wonderful World of Disney during its run on ABC. The series lasted a total of 17 60 minute episodes and depicted the exploits of a fictional Texas Ranger - Texas John Salughter. In the days before cable TV, DVDs, and streaming video, it was common practice for the studios to try and recover production costs by repackaging episodes from their series for theatrical release overseas. Such is the case here; "Showdown at Sandoval" was originally broadcast on January 23, 1959 and Disney re-edited the 60-minute episode into a theatrical length of 74 minutes and released it in 1960 as "Gundown at Sandoval". Somewhere in the release chain, the movie was also titled as "Gunfight at Sandoval" - which was the name Disney used when the movie was released on VHS.
Here, Slaughter vows revenge when the murderous Barko Gang, headed by a husband-and-wife team (Lyle Bettiger, Beverly Garland), kills a fellow ranger during a bank robbery. After a deadly confrontation with the fleeing gang, a captured member reveals that their destination was a lavish haven for criminals known as "Sandoval" - run by an elegant but evil mastermind (Dan Duryea). Determined to rid the territory of both gang and notorious hideout, Slaughter plots an invasion of the fortress-like complex in a cleverly devised but treacherous masquerade
with his beloved fiancée Addie (Norma Moore) as a willing accomplice.
Regardless whether you look at "Gundown at Sandoval" as a TV show or theatrical western, it's kind of middle of the road; certainly watchable, but the lack of character development and simple plot shows its TV-origins.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?