Gunfight at Black Horse Canyon is directed by R. G. Springsteen and written by Frank Gruber and Anthony Lawrence. It stars Dale Robertson, Jack Ging, William Demarest, George Kennedy, Rod Cameron, Patricia Owens, Phillip Carey, Claude Akins and Mary Jane Saunders. Music is by Richard Shores and cinematography by Bud Thackery.
I didn't know it prior to viewing this, but it's derived from the TV series "Tales of Wells Fargo" and is in fact two episodes "The Dodger" and "Assignment in Gloribee" - stitched together to make a feature film. Upon finding out this fact it explains just why Gunfight at Black Horse Canyon is so uneven and bad. Everything about it screams out as being low budget fodder, the story line is weak, back screen projection is cheap and nasty and some usually reliable actors are reduced to auto-cue type acting. While characterisation is sparse, with some characters flitting in and out without rhyme or reason to anyone who didn't watch the show. Of course it may well be that fans of the show could find good value in this elongated venture? But for anyone else, as an advertisement appetiser? It hardly makes one yearn to seek out more of the show!
For Kennedy's brief villainy and Akins reliability remaining intact, it just about escapes being bottom of the barrel, but it's mightily close to being just that. 3/10
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