A wanted murderer, Billy John, is captured by Ben Brigade, a bounty hunter, who intends to take him to Santa Cruz to be hanged. Brigade stops at a staging post, where he saves the manager's wife from an Indian attack, and enlists the help of two outlaws to continue his journey more safely. However, the Indian attacks persist, the outlaws plan to take Billy for themselves, tempted by the offer of amnesty for his captor, and Billy's brother Frank is in hot pursuit to rescue him. But Brigade has plans of his own ... Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
Contemporary reviewers described the Ranown films as B+ Westerns. High quality scripts and execution on efficient budgets. Note that the hanging tree used at the climax of "Ride Lonesome" is surrounded by water in "Comanche Station". Unfortunately, in my opinion, some of the dialogue is recycled by Mr. Kennedy between the two films as the respective duos/allies (Best/Coburn - Akins/Homier) contemplate offing Scott and the younger says you they have to get him between them, you can't go at a man like Brigade/Cody straight on. However, its reasonable that desperados in a writer's milieu would use the same phrasing.
The action scenes in Ride Lonesome are excellent and it is impressive to see Scott's riding skills at his age, such as in the scene where they notice the warriors on the ridge and he accelerates his horse in order to get Karen Steele to safety.
The action is complemented by the night scenes where the elliptical dialogue between the characters provides intellectual comic relief.
Other items I liked are Lee Van Cleef's turn when he realizes why Brigade is being so obvious about their path. When I first saw the film I was impressed by James Best's performance but didn't notice the feather in his hat. Seeing it in a retrospective with a friend, he noticed the feather. My first reaction was that the character was part Indian, he thought it was meant to show the character as "chicken", ie punkish.
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