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J.D. Cahill is the toughest U.S. Marshal they've got, just the sound of his name makes bad guys stop in their tracks, so when his two young boys want to get his attention they decide to rob a bank. They end up getting more than they bargained for. Written by
Christopher D. Ryan <email@example.com>
Western U.S. Marshal and widower John Wayne (as J.D. Cahill) is frequently away from home. His two neglected sons, 17-year-old Gary Grimes (as Daniel "Danny" Cahill) and 11-year-old Clay O'Brien (as Billy Joe "Budger" Cahill), are often left without their father. Consequently, the boys have fallen under the influence of mean George Kennedy (as Abe Fraser). One day, while Mr. Wayne is out shooting outlaws, young Grimes gets tossed in jail. This turns out to be part of a plot to rob the local bank, with both of Wayne's sons participating. To build an alibi, the crooks get thrown in jail on minor charges, sneak out to rob the bank, and then return to jail. Little of this is actually shown, but it helps to know...
Wayne and director Andrew V. McLaglen should have ended their collaborations with the far superior "Chisum" (1970)...
This one gets off to a confusing start. It's not an intricate story that develops; it's artificial and lacks cohesion. Seeing the "drunk and disorderly" Grimes with Kennedy might have helped, if the young actor was given the task. There are too many instances where Mr. McLaglen leaves Grimes with widened eyes and flared nostrils. And, let's try not to highlight "half breed" Comanche colored Neville Brand's florescent teeth. Grimes and young O'Brien act like Disney boys adopted by the older, violent Wayne (the script notes he became a father late in life). Considering Marshal Wayne's sense of justice, the boys are lucky to be his sons. If not, Wayne might have plugged them with multiple, spasm-inducting bullets.
*** Cahill, United States Marshal (1973-07-11) Andrew V. McLaglen ~ John Wayne, Gary Grimes, Clay O'Brien, George Kennedy
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