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Playing against type, Dean Martin is an ex-lawman who has decided to illegally profit 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 has 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 against them are too great, 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
Obvious stunt doubles in the fight between Dolan and Yarbrough, with Dolan's double having dry straw coloured hair compared to Dolan's (George Peppard) own hair being darker and, certainly, not dry. See more »
Forty nine percent of something is better than a hundred percent of nothing.
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Dean Martin plays the villain for the first time, but doesn't add any dimension to his role. George Peppard steals the movie as a gambler who doesn't want any trouble until situation becomes impossible. Jean Simmons is adorable as usual.
The plots are quite routine, the action scenes passable. It's a bit unreasonable that Simmons would let Peppard, a stranger who rides to town on her stagecoach, stay in her house. Although such arrangement is made by the writers, it's a shame that their relationship is not fully developed.
Fortunately we see some familiar supporting actors, including Don Galloway (of TV series IRONSIDE), John McIntire (of WAGON TRAIN), and it's interesting to watch comic actor Slim Pickens as mean, sadistic character again after his wonderful performance in ONE-EYED JACKS (1961).
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