When the Daltons are killed at Coffeeville, gang member Bill Doolin arriving late escapes but kills a man. Now wanted for murder, he becomes the leader of the Doolin gang. He eventually leaves the gang and tries to start a new life under a new name. But the old gang members appear and his true identity becomes known. So once again he becomes an outlaw trying to escape from the law.Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Good Scott western, with lots of action, interesting characters, and a solid script. Doolin (Scott) may be a bankrobber but he's also capable of noble deeds. In short, he's a good-bad guy of the sort the iron-jawed Scott could play to perfection. Here he leads a gang of outlaws whose members are known to us by name. Funny thing about the movies. Even bad guys can be humanized enough so that we care about them. That happens more or less with these gang members.
And get a load of the familiar Alabama Hills that Scott and Buddy Boetticher explored in their great Ranown series of oaters. Director Douglas does some effective staging with the Neolithic slabs, worthy of Boetticher. There're some other good touches by Douglas. I especially like the little boy who stares Scott down in church. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. Surprisingly, veteran screen baddie George Macready plays a federal marshal, which took some getting used to. And what a sweetheart Virginia Huston is. Who wouldn't give up a life of crime for her. It's that element, I think, that lends the ending such poignancy.
All in all, it's a well done 90-minutes by Columbia, somewhere between an A-production and a B. I'm just sorry Scott never got the recognition as a western star that he deserved.
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