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Audie and Dan Duryea are hired by a mysterious woman to take her across Indian country to her husband. On the way, she tries to seduce Audie by offering to give him Duryea's share of the money if he will help her achieve her real goal: kill Duryea for having killed her husband. Audie dreams of getting enough money to buy a ranch of his own, but his loyalty to his friend prevails. In the end, however, Murphy is forced to kill Duryea in a shootout when Duryea draws on him in a greedy attempt to finish the job even though continuing will likely get all three of them killed. After the shootout Duryea gets his final wish: a funeral carriage pulled by - you guessed it - six black horses. Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
"Six Black Horses" is a mild and mediocre western with only one real point of interest. Burt Kennedy's screenplay plagiarises his own screenplay for "Ride Lonesome"! Not only does Kennedy re-use some of the plot points - the redskins offering to trade a horse for the lushly feminine white woman/the sudden race across flat lands to a refuge just over the ridge - but also recycles some of his dialogue: "Some things a man just can't ride around" /"just thinking about it gives me a shiver deep down inside"/"a man needs a reason to ride this country".
Like "Ride Lonesome" and several other westerns written by Kennedy, "Six Black Horses" is a journey movie. A woman (Joan O'Brien) offers two saddle-sore drifters who are adept with guns (Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea) a thousand dollars each to escort her across Indian territory. Predictably, they encounter various dangers and, sadly, everything is resolved predictably.
There is nothing special about "Six Black Horses". Most of the situations and relationships are tired clichés, and none is depicted with any originality or imagination. Audie Murphy and Dan Duryea were old hands at this sort of thing in 1962, and they do not put a foot wrong. Joan O'Brien is more interesting, partly because she was an extremely attractive woman, even by movie star standards, and partly because her role carries some mystery. It is regrettable that her movie career did not prosper for longer.
If the gun fights had been expertly choreographed by a directer who knew how to do it (like John Sturges or Don Siegel), "Six Black Horses" would not be so forgettable.
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