Murphy goes after bad guys who shot his friend the sheriff and abducted a local girl. In a plot reminiscent of High Noon, the posse of town blowhards gradually abandons Murphy; only tenderfoot banker Saxon remains, to prove his manhood. When they find the girl, obviously abused by her captors, Murphy shows her acceptance and sympathy whereas the others disply only revulsion. Written by
Universal's music director, Joseph Gershenson, reused the music scores from This Island Earth (1955) and It Came from Outer Space (1953) in this picture's music score, much to the chagrin of the original uncredited composers Hans J. Salter, Herman Stein, Henry Mancini, and Irving Gertz. By 1961, they were all out of their old 1950s Universal Studios contract, and only heard about this when they got notices in the mail from the Musicians' Union. They would have appreciated checks in the mail even more, but there were none, since their old contracts considered all their studio work as 'works for hire' and this precluded them getting any further royalties from their work. Universal continued this practice until a lawsuit from the Musicians' Union stopped it in 1966. See more »
I've long been a fan of Audie Murphy and event his lesser movies are better than most of the drivel that comes out of Hollywood today.
This is a good movie on its merits and not just as a vehicle for Murphy. It works well on all levels - story, acting, and directing. What I most enjoyed is the fact each actor is given screen time to rise above the stereotypes and create a memorable character - even if they only have a few lines.
The two I remember most are the young banker Seymour Kern (John Saxon) and the Mexican cowboy Johnny Caddo (Rudolph Acosta). Saxon in particular does well showing true, believable growth; he isn't just there as a foil/sidekick for Murphy to play off of but as a genuine character treated as equally important to the storyline. Acosta, usually a villain in the movies, plays an equally important role as a Spanish cowboy who joins simply because "it's the right thing to do".
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