Returning home after a two year absence Clint, known for his fast gun, is caught by Spangler's gang where he learns they are heading for the same town where they plan to rob the bank. He escapes and although he is not welcome, he warns the few townsmen not away on cattle drives. Two years ago he had to kill two of the Morrisons. When the remaining two Morrisons come after him he kills them and just before the Spangler gang attacks and his gun will be needed, he is jailed. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Director Sidney Salkow made quite a few westerns over the course of his career, and the one thing they have in common is that none of them are particularly good. If you want to see why, then watch this picture. Salkow has no sense of pacing whatsoever (a trait even more evident in his "Sitting Bull" from 1954, which has to be among the most disjointed pictures ever made). Stuff happens, then nothing happens for a while, then stuff happens again, then nothing happens for a while again, and so on, and so on, and so on. That describes this picture pretty much to a T, and what's even worse is that, unlike many of Salkow's other westerns, this one actually has a cast of experienced western actors in roles both large and small: James Best, Frank Ferguson, Rex Holman, Rick Vallin, Frank Gerstle and Mort Mills, among others, have done good work in other westerns, and Audie Murphy is earnest as always, but there's not much they can do with this. They try hard, but Salkow's limp direction and the drivel they're forced to recite kill whatever small chances there may have been of making something out of nothing. Even though the plot is somewhat tired, good--or even halfway competent--writing could have made this picture at least watchable. The writing here is laughable hack work, just cliché piled on top of cliché, overheated dramatics, eye-rolling villainy--it seems more like a William S. Hart western from 1915 than an Audie Murphy western from 1964. The last part of the picture picks up a bit--"picks up" being a relative term, considering that virtually nothing has happened up to that point--when the outlaw gang attacks the town, but even that isn't in the least exciting. Salkow's tenuous skills as a filmmaker completely evaporate when the "action" starts (again, check out his 1954 "Sitting Bull") and this picture is no exception--a few desultory gunshots and a bad guy falls off his horse, another gunshot or two and a townsman falls down (it's hard to tell if it's because he was "shot" or if he just dropped from exhaustion--the outlaws and the townsmen in this picture have to be among the OLDEST people to engage in a gun battle in the history of westerns) and the same thing is pretty much repeated for the next eight or ten minutes. There's no sense of excitement, danger, or anything other than boredom. In the end, of course, everything works out exactly as you knew it would, but it's not really worth sitting through this dull, lumbering mess to have your suspicions confirmed.
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