Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
A gang of claim jumpers is infesting the territory, gaining ownership of undermanned mining operations through extortion...and leaving no live witnesses. But one victim, quick-drawing gambler Luke Cromwell, escapes. Meanwhille, Marshal Lightnin' Tyrone is also after the gang; recovering from one raid, he meets femme fatale Opal Lacy, who may not be healthy for him to know. When Luke, now calling himself the Silver Kid, joins forces with Marshal Tyrone, the gang had better watch out ...unless something drives a wedge between the new allies.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Duel at Silver Creek" is a 1952 Western starring Stephen McNally and Audie Murphy as a sheriff and green deputy who are trying to track down a murderous gang of claim jumpers. Meanwhile the sheriff pursues a new hottie in town (Faith Domergue) while the deputy is interested in a teenage cutie (Susan Cabot). A 27 year-old Lee Marvin is on hand as one of the possibly shady characters.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this old Western. Murphy is great as the youthful and likable fast-gun and McNally is effective as the sheriff. Domergue is beautiful, but duplicitous and even shockingly evil (e.g. the unexpected strangling scene). Cabot is a joy to watch and it's interesting to see Marvin so young.
The story is interesting with McNally narrating and it easily keeps your attention at only 77 minutes, but what brings my rating down is the roll-your-eyes plot gimmicks (for lack of better word) typical of old Westerns. For instance, the sheriff's bad finger that makes it almost impossible for him to squeeze the trigger of his handgun and how this becomes a big secret. And then there's the way the deputy expertly grazes the sheriff's arm in order to take his place in a fast-draw duel (What if he was off by a couple of centimeters?). If it weren't for these types of lame aspects I'd give "The Duel at Silver Creek" a higher grade.
The locations are good, shot at three California ranches -- Corrigan Ranch, Iverson Ranch and Janss Conejo Ranch – as well as Vasquez Rocks.
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