Saint-Maurice, an ordinary peaceful village, lived healthily so much so that the local doctor's practice was scant. But that was before Dr. Parpalaid retired and was replaced by a charlatan... See full summary »
Playing against type, Dean Martin is an ex-lawman who has decided to illegally prophet from his abilities. He now owns most of the town of Jericho, and has hired a band of gunmen to enforce his edicts. Outside of town, Martin ambushes a stagecoach that is carrying a passenger, ex-marshal George Peppard. From a hidden spot in the brush, Martin shoots up the coach and rides away. Arriving in town, Peppard meets Jean Simmons who his refused Martin's attempts to take over operation of her stage line. After a few days, Peppard becomes attracted to Simmons, but he sees that the odds are too large against them, and is on the verge of leaving town. But, after Martin physically roughs up Simmons, Peppard organizes the few men in town who are willing to put up a fight, and attacks enterprises that are owned by Martin. Finally, in a showdown, Martin and Peppard battle it out, ironically in the same spot that Martin originally ambushed the stagecoach. Written by
WILLIAM L TRAVIS
Dean Martin for the first and only time in his career played a villain, a town boss named Alex Flood who still hasn't gotten control of the stagecoach line Jean Simmons runs. She's sold it to George Peppard and John McIntire. McIntire is wounded on the way into town and he and Peppard are put up by Simmons. This doesn't sit well with Dino, he and Simmons have had their moments in the past.
It's a good adult western with lots of action to satisfy everyone. One of the most brutal fight scenes in cinema history takes place between Peppard and Slim Pickens who's Martin's chief henchman. More brutal than the one between Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt against Barton MacLane in Treasure of the Sierra Made. More brutal because Pickens meets his demise.
The rest of the film is Peppard rallying forces to take the town away from Martin's control. Of course having Jean Simmons to come home to is enough to inspire anyone.
Simmons is no longer playing the young girls she played in the 1950s, but she gives a good account of herself as the stageline widow. She's always good, one of the most under-appreciated actresses in movie history.
Good adult western, worth a view. And if you want to see a modern remake, catch the Patrick Swayze film Road House.
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