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Robert D. Webb
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Mitch Barrett becomes embittered because his wife is allowed to die when he can't pay for the medicine she needs. The remorseful townspeople hire Mitch to be a deputy sheriff, thereby enabling him to plot an elaborate bank robbery with the help of an artist, a pickpocket, a gunslinger and a bar-girl. In conjunction with the robbery, Mitch plans to avenge himself upon every man who hindered his purchase of a single bottle of medicine costing one dollar and eighty seven cents so many years ago. Written by
All the way from Atlanta, she said. They were burned out in the war. The two of them - shoulda been three - wanted to start a new life. They came all the way west... here... to us, my hospitable friends. That's a long way to come just to lay down and die.
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I saw this film on TV a couple of nights before and I must say that either I never heard of it or I didn't remember about it. The story is rather good and somehow original for a western: a man that blames a whole town for his wife's death and while earning their trust he plans his revenge that will be accomplished with its complete destruction aided by a group of outcasts he has selected carefully. But the result comes out as a kind of "cheap" product.
If you consider that the 50's gave us perhaps the best westerns in Hollywood history ("High Noon", "The Gunfighter", "Shane", "3:10 to Yuma", "Warlock", "The Searchers" and so many others) "One Foot in Hell" comes out as a minor product. Perhaps with a more skillful director and therefore a strongest and less standard direction the picture would have worked well.
Alan Ladd (as the patient avenger) was not at his best in the 60's and his severe alcoholism problems showed in his clearly damaged psychical appearance. Don Murray (as one of the members of the gang) overacts in most of his scenes. Perhaps the best acting piece comes from pretty Dolores Michaels as a prostitute also a member of Ladd's group.
This film could have been better qualified perhaps if it had been released in the 40's just before the western genre took a high and serious impulse in the 50's with extreme good products. It looks cheap and minor for the 60's.
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