Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
Comanche Creek, Colorado, 1875: Prisoner Jack Mason is broken out of jail by a gang of strangers. They use him in a robbery, then when the dead-or-alive reward is high enough, they shoot him and collect. The National Detective Agency, now knowing the gang's methods, arranges to have agent Bob Gifford jailed in Comanche Creek for train robbery. The gang takes the bait (not before Gifford catches the eye of lovely saloon-keeper Abbie). But how will the bait get off the hook? Written by
Mike O'Brien, Chief National Detective Agency:
Now, let's go over what we know so far. We're faced with a shrewd and ruthless gang of outlaws. Their operation is clever and deadly. They wait until a man with a price on his head is jailed, then spring him and use him as a front man for a series of holdups...making sure he is the only one ever recognized. The reward keeps going up. When it reaches three or four thousand dollars, the man is killed. Somebody is hired to collect the reward.
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The events leading up to the Gunfight At Comanche Creek find Audie Murphy working as an undercover detective who has infiltrated an outlaw gang led by DeForest Kelley. The film has a plot not dissimilar to that of the great urban noir drama A Street With No Name.
Kelley has a unique recruiting method to supplement the hard core of his gang for jobs. He just breaks wanted criminals out of jail gets the use of their service and then kills them for the reward which has gone up in value like a stock in the bull market. One undercover detective has already been killed for the reward on his head so Audie has to watch himself from all angles.
Before he got his signature role as Dr. Leonard McCoy of the star ship Enterprise, DeForest Kelley did a lot of western roles where he was mostly a really nasty villain. If he hadn't signed for Star Trek, Kelley might well have kept in this career path.
Murphy himself was getting older and could no longer be cast as callow western youths as he was early in his career. After failing with a television series Whispering Smith, as so many of his fellow players did, Murphy kept doing westerns of varying quality until the end of the Sixties and the end of the B westerns which played the bottom half of double bills.
Not at all saying however that some of his westerns weren't good. Gunfight At Comanche Creek was done very well for low budget studio Allied Artists and goes at a real nice pace and maintains suspense throughout. Audie has to rely a lot on his wits to keep from being discovered. The gunfight at the end of the film is well worth waiting for.
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