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Chris Foster and Bert Pickett are two drifters who are passing through the border town of Adonde. There, a drunken Bert gets into a brawl at a card game and punches the town sheriff.Chris tries to help Bert get away but the sheriff arrests both men.The town doesn't have a jail and the sheriff usually chains the prisoners by the neck to a wooden post in the town square.Bert and Chris, wearing iron collars around their necks, are chained to the post. Also chained to the same post are the town drunk and the violent gang of famous wanted outlaw Lavalle. The outlaws have more to lose than Bert and Chris who only have to serve a few days chained to the post.Therefore, Lavalle and his men start digging around the post to free themselves.Unfortunatelly, they also force Bert and Chris to participate in the escape attempt. Written by
Showdown finds Audie Murphy and Charles Drake who did a few films with Murphy as a pair of cowboy drifters coming to the town of Adonde to sell of the horse herd they've captured and for a little R&R. Drake gets in a poker game, gets drunk and stupid, and both wind up chained to a town may pole like post in the middle of the town main street. Also chained there is the town drunk Strother Martin and Harold J. Stone and his outlaw gang. The town has no jail and the pole is like the stocks in the village square in the colonial times.
Adonde wishes that they did invest in a jail after Stone breaks out taking Murphy and Drake with him and some money that the light fingered Drake lifted from the Express office. $12,000.00 in negotiable bonds. But he hides them and then it becomes a chess game between Murphy and Drake and Stone.
I won't go on with the plot, but it soon becomes apparent that the man Murphy's been riding with has a lot less character than he gave him credit for. In fact Drake's character is not unlike the one he played in the classic James Stewart western Winchester 73. Furthermore the girl he's been seeing Kathleen Crowley is not unlike Shelley Winters from that same film.
In fact this could have been a classic had Universal invested a little more money in script and direction. But at that time Audie Murphy's films were normally at the bottom of double bills in that last decade of them and Murphy was just serving out his contract.
Still the film has some grit to it with Murphy playing the only one in the film with any real character.
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