Richard Thorpe's "The Last Challenge" aka. "The Pistolero of Red River" of 1967 is an entertaining standard American Western with a good cast. Even though in no way outstanding, this is a solid film that is well worth watching for genre-fans.
Dan Blaine (Glen Ford), the Marshal of a small town in the West, has the reputation of being the fastest and most precise shot around. Since he has been sheriff, the formerly dangerous area has become calm. Blaine, whose beautiful and rich girlfriend (Angie Dickinson) owns a local saloon, is therefore highly respected in his community. One day, however, a young gunslinger named Lot McGuire (Chad Everett) comes to town, with the intention to challenge Blaine in a duel. While he wishes to duel with the sheriff, McGuire is an otherwise friendly and likable guy. Blaine therefore wants to dissuade the young man from his wish...
Glen Ford is very good in the lead, and Chad Everett also delivers a solid performance as the young gunslinger. Beautiful Angie Dickinson is, as always, great in the female lead. The supporting cast includes the great genre actor Jack Elam, who also fits in his role very well. The film is overall entertaining and definitely worth the time. When it comes to Westerns from the late 60s, however, the Italian Westerns are usually incomparably better than those from the United States. While everybody is a bastard in Italian Westerns of the time, all characters are kinda good in this film, which makes it less interesting to me. "The Last Challenge" sure is a solid and entertaining little western, but it also confirmed what I already knew - American Westerns from the late sixties can not compete with their Italian counterparts, as the Spaghetti Westerns beat them in all respects. Nevertheless, a decent film. 6/10
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