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An American gunslinger kills a Mexican man in California immediately after the Mexican-American war. The killer is arrested and put on trial for murder with the Hispanic population waiting to learn of American justice.
Classic comedic western, Captain Oren Hayes of the Texas Rangers takes a break to visit his daughter in a neighboring town. When he arrives he find's his daughter Hannah's husband Jeff is running for Mayor against a corrupt town boss, Nard Lundy. Lundy has no intention of allowing the free election of the honest Jeff Rose, so he has his henchmen beat them up. Hayes then calls for the help of some his old buddies in the Rangers. Upon arriving in town, they realize quickly that age has caught up with them and they must rely on their sheer wits to out-smart and defeat Lundy. Written by
"The Over the Hill Gang" is interesting if only for its cast of veteran performers. Unfortunately they were saddled with a "B" movie script that doesn't know whether it should be serious or funny. It appears that some scenes were cut out in order to fit the film into a 90 minute TV time slot.
The story has former Texas Ranger Captain Oren Hayes (Pat O'Brien) arriving in town to visit his daughter Hannah (Kristen Nelson) and her husband Jeff (Rick Nelson). He finds Jeff embroiled in a mayorality race with corrupt town boss Nard Lundy (Edward Andrews). When the baddies rough them up, Hayes decides to call on his old Ranger buddies Nash Crawford (Walter Brennan), George Agnew (Chill Wills) and Jason Fitch (Edgar Buchanan) for help. When they arrive they soon realize that their old skills have eroded with age and then decide to fight the bad guys with their wits rather than with force.
Assisting Andrews in his evil deeds are Andy Devine as Judge Polk, Jack Elam as the Sheriff and Myron Healey and Bruce Glover as deputies. Gypsy Rose Lee is also along as a once famous entertainer. Burt Mustin and Billy Benedict appear in minor roles.
It was great to see all of these veteran performers in one film. Most were at or near the end of their careers at the time. It was also interesting to see Rick and Kristen Nelson who in spite of their youth were also at the end of their movie careers. Too bad they couldn't have had better material to work with.
Followed by "The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again" (1970).
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