Riding Shotgun (1954) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
20 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Vintage cowboy action.
Mozjoukine7 February 2002
Seeing "Riding Shotgun" again after half a century is a welcome reminder of the peak that the western film of the fifties achieved.

Director De Toth, who actually had ranch experience despite his Hungarian origins,obviously took great satisfaction in finding such a variety of effective angles and pieces of western imagery to present what is a well constructed story. When our weathered hero has to shoot out the candle in Fritz Feld's "dirty little cantina" it not only provides a chance for master cameramen Bert Glennon ("Stagecoach") to do an effective light change but it also gives us a couple of reels of the disturbing image of the blackened door-way that no one in the town is game to enter, not sure if Randy is dead or not.

The film making is better than most of the bigger pictures could muster.

The Warner western street re-dressed. Interesting cast - Joe Sawer in a non comedy role, punching it out with Scott, Charlie Bronson getting started, Millican in his best part - are those Frank Ferguson, Cesare Gravina and Bob Steele in uncredited walk-ons?

Pretension free, work like the Scott-De Toth series made going to the movies a rewarding, addictive habit.
32 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Reason vs. Rabble
Gary R. Peterson22 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched Riding Shotgun, which rounds out a Warner Bros Triple Feature DVD with two other Randolph Scott westerns of the 1950s. Despite the title, Randolph Scott rides shotgun for only the few opening minutes of the film, before falling for a ruse to lure him away from the stagecoach. The stagecoach, which is robbed and shot up, is itself another ruse to lure the sheriff and the bulk of the gun-handy menfolk away from town in a posse following a phony trail. Randolph Scott escapes the revenge-fueled fate a young (and clearly on a trajectory to stardom) Charles Bronson set for him and comes into town to warn the sheriff about the gang's plan.

But upon arriving Scott finds the town has turned on him, suspecting him of being in cahoots with the stage robbers. Here is where the film's real story begins, and while certainly taking a few pages from the High Noon playbook, Riding Shotgun has its own unique twist on that tale. Here Scott is not alone in standing up to the town. Wayne Morris, as Deputy Tub, is the real voice of reason who keeps the rabble from getting too roused and turning to vigilante justice against an innocent man.

Wayne Morris is always a welcome name to see in any movie's opening credits, even if he was not used to his fullest potential here. Morris' Deputy Tub reminded me a lot of Alan Hale, Jr. and I wondered if the Skipper wouldn't have been better cast in the role (he had appeared with Scott in the previous year's Man Behind The Gun).

While it would be easy to dismiss Tub as being ineffective and derelict in his duty, there is a rationale and a deliberateness behind his actions. Tub actually de-escalates the tension by stepping away from the situation and indulging in lunch and later some pie and coffee. His easy dismissal of the trigger-happy Deputy Ross as getting what was coming to him shows Tub's a seasoned westerner and far from being a coward. It took experience and intelligence to approach the cornered Scott with diplomacy and a deal instead of rushing into the cantina with his guns blazing, like the greenhorn hot dog deputy Ross did earlier. He shows this unruffled calm again later when he punctures the blustering bravado of the wannabe-shotgun rider by simply handing him his gun and with a stare silently challenging him to put up or shut up.

Rabble rousing and the psychology of crowds is a theme running through the film. I was reminded me of the early Lee/Ditko Spider-Man stories where one bystander's cynical remark is repeated and ratcheted up by the next person's until everyone is adding their uninformed suggestions as to what should be done and done right now. One especially telling scene is between the two young ladies expressing their outrage over the situation. At one point one girl asks the other, "isn't it exciting?" to which the other breaks into laughter and giggles, revealing their indignation is just a posture and that they're enjoying the spectacle; never mind it might result in a man being gunned down. Despite the fine clothes some of the townsfolk wear, their claim to civilization is just a thin veneer and little if anything separates them from the murderous gang, one of whose members passes among them unnoticed (except, tellingly, by a harlot).

Something I found funny was how the gambling hall is filled with men playing cards, completely unaware or uninterested in the unfolding drama outside that has captivated the balance of the town. Something the producers intended to be funny was the outlaw gang's falling off their horses, but it approached slapstick and seemed out of place in the tension-filled climax. Fritz Feld provided some good comic relief as the put-upon father of a brood of kids with a nagging wife. And didn't you just know that his mirror wasn't going to survive to see the end credits? Some familiar faces in uncredited parts include Frank Ferguson (maybe best known as the apoplectic McDougall in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein) and Howard Morris in his first film, playing a strange and menacing fellow fingering a rope that is far from the beloved Ernest T. Bass character he'd later play on The Andy Griffith Show (and ironically for an actor who did so many cartoon voices, he doesn't utter a word in this movie despite considerable screen time).

While Riding Shotgun isn't the expected action-filled western with scenes of horseback riding and rolling stagecoaches as the title implies, it does have a compelling tension-filled story, good acting and it more than entertains in its tight 74 minutes.
16 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another Variation of the High Noon Theme!
bsmith555214 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
"Riding Shotgun" is another in the Randolph Scott series of westerns released by Warner Brothers in the 1950s.

This one is another variation of the High Noon theme of one man left alone against the villains without the support of the town. Larry DeLong (Scott) has been searching for Dan Maraday (James Millican) who murdered his sister and nephew during a stagecoach hold up. He has been riding shotgun for various stage lines with the hope that way he will finally meet up with his nemesis.

Maraday's gang, led by Pinto (Charles Bronson) captures DeLong and leaves him to die in the hot sun. They then rob and shoot up the local stagecoach on which Larry was supposed to be the shotgun guard. By sending the coach into town shot up, Maraday hopes to draw the sheriff and his posse out of town so that they can ride in and loot the casino. But DeLong escapes and rides into town to warn the townspeople.

The town believes that Larry is one of the gang because he was seen riding away with a member of the gang. Led by stagecoach owner Tom Biggert (Joe Sawyer), the town turns against Larry and corners him in a dingy saloon owned by Fritz (Fritz Feld). Deputy sheriff Tub Murphy (Wayne Morris) returns from the posse with orders to hold DeLong. Unfortunately he is ineffective and unable to arrest DeLong. The townspeople then decide to try to smoke him out.

Meanwhile Maraday and his gang ride into town during the commotion. DeLong manages to escape and confront the gang.

Randolph Scott basically played the same character in all of his 50s westerns, the stern faced William S. Hart type of hero. He always made them believable. Wayne Morris had starred in his own series prior to this but is essentially wasted here as the ever hungry, over cautious, overweight deputy. Joan Weldon as the heroine also has little to contribute. James Millican had appeared in several Scott westerns before his untimely death in 1956. Charles Bronson (still using his real name of Buchinsky) has a meaty role as the chief henchman. Veteran "head waiter" Fritz Feld gets a welcome change of pace as the slovenly Fritz.

Some other recognizable faces include Paul Picerni as the shotgun guard who dies in Scott's place, Howard Morris as a psychopathic "man with the rope" and if you look closely you might spot western veterans Bud Osborne, Buddy Roosevelt and Dub Taylor in various townsfolk.

Another good entry in the the Randolph Scott series.
22 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Riding Shotgun" is loaded with enough excitement and realism
zardoz-134 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
André De Toth's brisk 74 minute western "Riding Shotgun" is an ambitious, above-average Randolph Scott horse opera that stands out from the herd. The trigger-happy outlaws here are a downright dastardly bunch; the townspeople turn into a moronic mob, and the hero creates more trouble for himself because of this credulous mob that refuse to believe him. Literally, Scott becomes the cowboy who cried wolf as far as the citizens are concerned.

Seasoned western scenarist Thomas Blackburn and De Toth have fashioned Kenneth Perkins' novel "Riding Solo" into a first-rate, suspenseful sagebrusher that never lets up on its surprises. Moreover, "Riding Shotgun" illustrates De Toth's obsession with realism. The Marady gang's decoy strategy, the act of cinching a saddle onto a horse, the use of a derringer to blast the ropes off the hero's wrists, and actions of a mob that intensify without reason keep things lively in this slam-bang shoot'em up. For example, early in the action, heroic Larry DeLong (Randolph Scott of "Colt .45") has to get a horse to follow a man who may lead him to his sworn enemy Dan Marady. Instead of simply getting an already saddled mount and swinging astride, De Toth shows Delong actually taking the time to cinch the saddle to its' back. As is the case in many De Toth films, we see the heroes and villains actually doing things—like saddling a horse—that other directors would eliminate as time-consuming and mundane. However, this is a set-up that De Toth pays off later when Delong sabotages the outlaw gang's departure by slicing through the cinches on their saddles so that they will bite the dust when they try to step aboard their p0nies.

De Toth and Blackburn allow the Randolph Scott character to narrate the picture so as to push the plot ahead and plant in our minds the very personal nature of Delong's revenge. The movie opens with Delong riding atop a stage coach as the shotgun messenger while Scott provides voice-over narration that brings the action quickly up to speed.

"For three years I dedicated every waking moment of my life to scouring the frontier for a killer for a very personal reason. I'd worked at all kinds of jobs from Wyoming to Oregon. In the last year, I'd working every stage line between Canada and Mexico, riding shotgun. I knew that sooner or later my path would again cross that of the man I wanted—Dan Marady." No sooner has Delong furnished this exposition and the stage coach rumbled past the camera than infamous Dan Marady (James Mullican of "Winchester '73") descends from the top of the pass that the stage just driven by and sends an old-timer off to the stage relay station to snooker Delong. Marady lives up to Delong's description: "as clever as he is ruthless and always managed to escape capture." Delong doesn't want to capture Marady; however, he means to kill him for the shooting deaths of his sister and his nephew. Consequently, from the outset, the hero has a strong motive to slay the villain. That makes for good drama! Anyway, Marady wants to rob the stage coach that Delong is guarding. To lure Delong away from the stage, he sends an old-timer into the relay station with his (Marady's) lucky charm derringer. At the station, Delong gets the shock of his life when he sees Marady's lucky derringer. He quits the stage coach to find out where the old-timer got the derringer and gets himself jumped and hogtied by Pinto ("The Great Escape's" Charles Bronson back when he was Buchinsky) and the rest of Marady's gang.

Marady's gang stops the coach, take the strong box, shoots up the passengers (but doesn't kill anybody) and sends the riddled stage coach off to Deepwater where the citizens take the law seriously. The outlaws—principally Pinto—mistakenly share their devious strategy with Delong who warns them about the law and order imperative of Deepwater and its stern sheriff Buck Curlew. As it turns out, Marady is counting on the zealous law and order attitude of Deepwater. He plans to let the shot-up stage careen into town. Curlew and a posse will light out after them, but they won't know that they are chasing a herd of horses instead of Marady. Meanwhile, the Marady gang will rob the Bank Club, a gambling house, and escape without harm with loot. Unfortunately, for Marady and company, Delong escapes by shooting his ropes with Marady's derringer that the old-timer dropped by accident. When Delong shows up in Deepwater with news about the Marady gang, the citizens believe that he helped the gang rob the stage since he quit guarding it. Even a kid with a slingshot pops Delong on the cheek with a stone and our hero retreats into the sanctuary of a cantina to protect himself from the angry citizen's mob. Deputy Sheriff Tub Murphy (World War II flying ace Wayne Morris of "Bad Men of Missouri") has a field day as a pot-bellied lawman that refuses to capitulate to an irate mob and has the good sense to leave Delong alone. One of the townspeople, a man (Howard Davis of "The Andy Griffith Show where he played Earnest T. Bass) has noose ready for our hero. Eventually, the Marady gang ride into Deepwater and the fireworks erupt.

The good thing about "Riding Shotgun" is that the noble hero finds himself behind the eight-ball more often than not, and life is no cake walk for him. Millican is great as Scott's nemesis and Davis makes memorable impression without having to utter a syllable. Bronson has a great scene where he describes his trek across an inhospitable desert as a result of Delong's pursuit. De Toth sprinkles prostitute characters in the street mob as an added example of realism. "Riding Shotgun" is loaded with enough excitement, realism, and suspense to make it a blast to watch despite its age.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
unusual, enjoyable, entertaining movie
chipe22 February 2011
"Riding Shotgun" is a very entertaining western, were only they all so good. It boasts an unusual story and pacing: 80 percent of the movie takes place between a bloody stagecoach robbery in the beginning of the movie and a violent casino robbery at the conclusion of the movie. During this 80 percent middle period, Scott is alone in town trying to convince the elders to recall the sheriff and posse which have gone after the stage robbers, who Scott knows robbed the stage to draw the sheriff-posse out of town so they could more easily rob the casino. And the townsfolk think Scott is part of the gang of stage robbers and wants the sheriff-posse recalled to protect the gang. So what we have is this intriguing story, rugged handsome Scott, good color photography, some humor supplied mainly by deputy sheriff Wayne Morris and cantina-owner Fritz Feld, an interesting/wacky group of townsfolk (in varied dress,looks and demeanor ), beautiful Joan Weldon, and Scott's narration. Unfortunately the ending doesn't live up to the delicious intro, but the ride was most enjoyable. And nice fade-out.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Randolph Scott's answer to Gary Cooper's "High Noon"!
berumte18 January 2002
Larry DeLong(Scott) is Riding Shotgun on stagecoaches, keeping them safe. After a holdup, the town first thinks that he's a coward and then decide that he must be a part of the gang -- and they're gonna get him! Meanwhile, the real baddies are heading to town to rob the bank and only Scott can prevent that.

Not quite up to High Noon standards, but a good yarn. Randolph Scott comes through, once again!
12 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This film is a great illustration of the notion that people are indeed stupid!
MartinHafer6 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I like the way this Western talked about human nature--a sign of an excellent film in this genre. For example, HIGH NOON and THE OXBOW INCIDENT are two of the very best Westerns of all time and they, too, investigate the mob mentality. Individually, people might be decent folk--put them in a group, and they all become instant idiots! I like this cynical aspect of the film and it makes this a standout film.

Randolph Scott plays a man who is seeking a gang of killers who rob stage coaches. He's been searching for years and now is working for the stage riding shotgun--the most likely way to meet up with these men. However, in a boneheaded move, he is lured away from the stage in search of the gang--and they soon catch HIM. He is left for dead and the gang then robs the stage. Scott soon manages to escape but when he finds his way into the nearest town, they assume Scott is part of the gang--after all, he wasn't on the stagecoach when it was attacked (while Scott was bound and waiting to die). The town seems to be inhabited by morons, because when he tries to warn the folks that the gang is planning on returning (since he heard their plans), they ignore him and even try to kill him. No matter that what they think isn't logical or that they've made some big assumptions, the town is determined to kill Scott. So, much of the film he's hiding out--trying to keep from killing the idiots in self-defense as well as avoiding their bullets. In the end, when the real gang shows up, it's of course up to good-guy Scott to save the day....even though the town really isn't worth saving.

While some of the film is a bit predictable and clichéd (such as Scott's unerring ability to hit the townspeople in the hand when they try to shoot him), it's much less than the usual film of this genre and watching Randolph Scott do his usual seemingly effortless performance make this film an exception to the usual Western fare. Plus, it's view of human nature makes this a transcendent film--one well worth seeking.

By the way, Charles Buchinsky is in the film in a supporting role. This is Charles Bronson, for those of you who didn't know his original name and he's quite young here.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Tension Filled Western
bkoganbing11 July 2010
Riding Shotgun has Randolph Scott doing just that, riding shotgun for various stagecoach lines. He's been doing this for several years, but always on the lookout for a particularly mean and vicious outlaw played by James Millican.

He's hot on the trail now, but Millican and his men also hate him with equal ferocity. They lure him off the line and hold up the stage, shooting it up pretty badly with driver and guard who replaced Scott both killed. The idea is to get the local sheriff to form a posse and start chasing the bandits while they come in and loot the town, particularly a gambling house known to have large sums on hand.

When Scott gets there he arrives with a lot of hatred written on the faces of the town who figure if he didn't have something outright to do with the holdup, he's a coward then. He can't convince no one no how that Millican is coming with a really big gang.

This film is directed by Andre DeToth who keeps the tension simmering in this film. Some in the town like Joe Sawyer the stageline owner want to lynch him on the spot, some like Deputy Wayne Morris who arrives back in the middle of action try real hard to maintain some kind of order and let Scott have his say.

Charles Bronson has one of his early roles in this film as a particularly vicious member of Millican's gang. But Millican and Scott between the two of them are what the film revolves around. Millican is every bit as shrewd and tough as Scott who narrates the film says he is. This is not and has not been an easy man to take down.

The final shootout is a classic, usually in Randolph Scott westerns they are. Riding Shotgum was one of his best B films from the Fifties.

Come to think of it, Randy does never use a shotgun in this film.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good Western, nice character touches
Marlburian5 February 2012
I'm glad to see that a majority of reviewers liked this film. I did, too. It's one Scott Western that's passed me by until now, though others are frequently shown on British TV.

The plot was more original than many 1950s' Westerns, and the town looked a little different to those so often seen. As has already been remarked, the townsfolk were a quirky lot, and there was some nice minor characterizations, especially the guy fondling a rope all the time.

What little love interest there was was unnecessary, doing nothing to the plot.

One might quibble at Scott's wish for a messenger to be sent to recall the posse. There wouldn't have been enough time to track it down and for it to return in time to combat the raid. And how obliging of Scott to ride so precisely under the tree that Bronson could jump on him. At least the revolvers ran out of ammunition after being fired six times, forcing their users to reload, unlike in some Westerns where they seem to have eight or more rounds in them.

I'll be happy to watch it again some time.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Randolph Scott VS. Charles Bronson
FightingWesterner26 January 2010
Stage-line security guard Scott is lured away from town by a member of his arch-enemy's gang and tied up to die from exposure. Escaping, he returns to find the stage robbed and everyone thinking he's in cahoots with the villains, with no one believing him when he tells them that the robbery was a ruse to get the law out on a goose-chase so that the real deal could go down. In fact, the whole town is ready to lynch Scott!

Though some of the portrayals of the ignorant townspeople are clearly over-the-top, Riding Shotgun is a very well-made and well-paced little western that really delivers the goods in terms of action and especially suspense.

There's a great role for a young Charles Bronson, who in his western debut (excluding an episode of The Roy Rodgers Show where he plays a boxer) as a sadistic member of the outlaw gang. The scenes where he joins the lynch mob and stokes them are pretty neat.

There's also a great role for Wayne Morris, who's probably best remembered for his role as a cowardly officer in Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory, as the town's remaining deputy who desperately tries to prevent needless bloodshed.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A real gem!
Art La Cues8 January 2009
This well acted movie is better than many of the so-called "A" westerns of the period. It has humor, drama, good dialogue, and a good story. Unlike, "High Noon" to which it has been compared in a previous review, it is more believable and less melodramatic. Randolph Scott, as usual, is in peak form and Wayne Morris is very effective as the easy going deputy. He has always been a favorite of mine because of his pleasant personality and natural acting style.

The action is fast paced even though most of it take place within the town. Joe Sawyer and the other veteran stars are convincing and the story line is original. This a film that I can watch repeatedly because it really entertaining. I only wish that today's writers, and directors could or would turn out movies of this caliber with actors who act and look like real frontiersmen.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Enjoyable Scott Western.
Robert J. Maxwell23 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Considering the budget, and considering other constraints on its quality, this is pretty good -- efficient movie-making at its best.

Randolph Scott is a shotgun rider on a stagecoach. The coach is held up and some former enemies capture Scott, hog tie his ass, and leave him to scorch to death in the sun. Tie up Randolph Scott? Hah! He rides into town to warn the good folk of the gang's plans, which is to divert the posse into chasing some loose horses so that the gang can loot and pillage the town. I'm not sure exactly how you pillage a village but I'm morally certain that's what they have in mind.

The problem is that no one in town believes Scott's warnings. What's worse, they believe him to be in cahoots with the dozen gang members, led by James Millican, with Charles Bronson in support.

Narrow-minded hostility surrounds Scott as he tries to spread the alarm and bring back the posse. No one believes him except his girl, Joan Weldon. The deputy, Wayne Morris, is doubtful of the hysteria but, in any case, is in no position to stand alone against them. The town doctor is neutral and wants to see due process exercised.

A couple of observations. This is Scott's only Western that I'm aware of in which he provides a noir-like narration. There's nothing wrong with that in principle but in practice it sounds a bit weird. This was released in 1954, and films noir had dominated American dramatic films for the previous ten years.

Fritz Feld was the psychiatrist with a twitch in "Bringing Up Baby." Here, he plays a treacherous but comic saloon proprietor. His joint is a filthy dump and he himself is unshaven, ragged, and weaselly. He's saddled with a Mexican wife and five children -- none of them boys. When he's excited, his Spanish tirade turns into German. That's understandable because he was born in Berlin. He's a welcome presence.

Joan Weldon, Scott's supportive girl friend, doesn't have a Hollywood-beautiful face but she seems to radiate intelligence and a little charm. Anybody who was a singer with the San Francisco Opera has my vote. Also, I blush, but must admit it always found her sexy.

The movie also does something interesting, probably unwittingly. It demonstrates the destructive potential of rumor. Now, gossip is a necessary means of social control in human society. (Lecturer writes "gossip" on blackboard.) One of the main reasons we don't do bad things is that, if we're found out, our family, friends, and neighbors will not like us so much. But gossip is like water. A certain amount is required for survival but too much of it, out of control, is destructive. We need tap water, not a flood. And we see rumor get subtle autonomy in this movie. The marginalized Scott is holed up in a filthy saloon and every move he makes is interpreted as "bad" and exaggerated by the hostile villagers. If a man tries to shoot Scott, and Scott shoots him in the gun-wielding arm, the story is told that Scott has killed his victim. Everything he does is interpreted by his enemies as deliberately mean. The movie is really a good demonstration of this point. (Imagine if the villagers had the internet.)

"Riding Shotgun" doesn't have the poetic quality of some of the Boetticher/Scott/Kennedy Westerns of the same period, but I was easily able to enjoy it for what it was.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Scott Gets Good Backup
DKosty12323 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Obviously because of it's length this Warner movie was made as a second feature for a double bill at 90 minutes in length. The thing is the director here does an excellent job of putting together a western drama and the color on this film is very impressive too.

Charles Bronson is young but you can pick him out right away. The Western town sets used here are used in many other western films. For a second banana, this movie is good and shows why Randolph Scott was so popular in the 1950's.

The plot is there enough to hang onto and the supporting cast in addition to Bronson is plenty good. This one is better than average second billing film fare. Glad TCM ran it on a summer under the stars night along with several of Scott's lesser known films like this one
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Deepwater Dimwits.
Spikeopath19 April 2014
Riding Shotgun is directed by Andre De Toth and adapted to screenplay by Thomas W. Blackburn fro the story "Riding Solo" written by Kenneth Perkins. It stars Randolph Scott, Wayne Morris, Joan Weldon, Joe Sawyer, James Millican, Charles Bronson and James Bell. Music is by David Buttolph and Warnercolor cinematography is by Bert Glennon.

Before he would make the Western movies with Budd Boetticher that would define him as a Western movie legend, Randolph Scott worked tirelessly in the genre. He would make 6 films with Ray Enright and 6 with Andre De Toth, all of these are good value for the Western fan. They vary in thematic quality, but production value was always decent and there was always Randy at war with some gruff or poncey bloke, nice location photography and of course some gorgeous ladies as well. That's enough for genre fans who happily take these movies on their required terms.

Anyone else got anything to say?

Riding Shotgun has Scott as Larry Delong, a man who spends his time "riding shotgun" as a stagecoach guard. He has an ulterior motive, though, he's constantly on the look out for a known outlaw, Dan Marady (Millican), and he wants him dead. Sure enough Malady is about the place and Larry falls into a trap and finds things spiralling so out of control, that by the time he manages to get back into town, practically everyone hates him and thinks he's part of Marady's murderous gang.

Hate makes a man careless.

Cue a scenario where Delong, who has been wonderfully providing us with a film noir like narration throughout (love the wry David and Goliath observation), literally has to make a one man stand against the dimwit townsfolk and also Marady and his henchmen who are fronted by twitchy gun Pinto! (Bronson). It clocks in at under 75 minutes, it's brisk, it has Scott kicking ass big time and it looks lovely (unsurprising with Glennon photographing).

Is it flawless? God no! There's some distinctly below average acting around Scott (Morris/Millican), while Fritz Feld as the Cantina owner (erm, called Fritz) where Delong holes up, is annoying in the extreme. While as radiant and perky as Joan Weldon is, she's no actress capable of grabbing a scene and shooting electricity through it. But this type of Scott Oater is comfort food to genre fans who once in a while like to down pistols and relax away from the more serious genre fare. 7/10
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A simple and acceptable Western compellingly starred by Randolph Scott and decently directed by Andre De Toth
ma-cortes4 September 2015
This exciting picture tells the story of a upright stagecoach guard called Larry Delong (Randolph Scott) . Larry tries to warn a town of an imminent raid by a band of outlaws and the townsfolk mistake him for one of the band . But Delong has sworn revenge and detain to undercover the real outlaws . Delong is besieged by Sheriff Tub Murphy (Wayne Morris) , deputies and other villagers and no one in town is willing to help him . In the Old west there are always the men who live breathe violence and the women who hold their breath .

This undemanding western is plenty of suspense as the dreaded final showdown approaches and the protagonist realizes he must stand alone against impossible odds as his fellow town people for help , nobody is willing to help him but they pursue him , while he attempts to clear his name as wrongfully accused of robber and murder . This passable tale is almost rudimentary though full of clichés , a good guy come to narration is almost adjusted in real time from the starring arrives in the little town until the ending confrontation and is given a limited time to resolve the accusation as stealer and murderer . The highlights of the film are the facing off between Scott and his enemies and the climatic showdown on the final . Phenomenal and great role for Randolph Scott as tough guy , he's the whole show , he plays a stagecoach guard seeking to clear his reputation . He gives a perfect acting as stoic , craggy, and uncompromising figure . Good support cast , such as Wayne Morris , Joan Weldon , Joe Sawyer , Frank Ferguson , James Bell , uncredited Dub Taylor and Charles Bronson as Charles Buchinsky , many of them usual in Western . Although made in short budget by the producer Ted Sherdeman , it is a enough efficient film and very entertaining . The picture contains an excellent cinematography by Bert Glennon -John Ford's usual photographer- and appropriate musical score by David Buttolph .

This typical Western was professionally directed by Andre De Toth . At his beginnings he entered the Hungarian film industry, obtaining work as a writer, editor , second unit director and actor before finally becoming a director. He directed a few films just before the outbreak of WW II, when he fled to England . Alexander Korda gave him a job there, and when De Toth emigrated to the US in 1942 , Korda got him a job as a second unit director on Jungle Book (1942) . Andre De Toth was a classical director , Western usual (Indian fighter, Man in the saddle, Ramrod , Last of Comanches , The stranger wore a gun), but also made Peplum (Gold for the Caesar) and adventure (The Mongols , Morgan the pirate , Tanganyika) . Probably his best known film is House of wax (1953), a Vincent Price horror film shot in 3D .
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
RIDING SHOTGUN is probably one of the best illustrations ever . . .
cricket crockett24 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
. . . of how to Make America Safe Again. RIDING SHOTGUN shows that towns in which everybody is willing and able to take pot shots at everyone else can really reduce their crime rates, even when plagued by felonious gangs. If firearms had been outlawed in the town of "Deepwater" before "Dan Marady's" gang of gun-slinging outlaws showed up, only Dan's outlaws would have had access to firearms after they had tricked the local lawmen into leaving town. Fortunately for the "Bank Club" casino--Dan's armed robbery target--Deepwater is an "open carry" settlement, in which everyone is armed to the teeth. (The good guys even keep "in practice" by shooting at EACH OTHER while waiting for the bad guys to show up! Fortunately, "Laconic Larry" is skilled at shooting guns out of the opposing duelists' hands when other good guys are firing at HIM!) RIDING SHOTGUN proves that Guardian Angels mostly keep good guys from getting shot in the USA, as long as they're allowed to be on a "level playing field" where everyone old enough to walk is packing a firearm. Certainly RIDING SHOTGUN can serve as a timely reminder to show your support Today for your local chapter of BANGS (Broke Americans Need Gun Stamps).
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Suspense plus!
JohnHowardReid21 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Recognized in its day as two or three cuts above your standard western entertainment, Riding Shotgun has lost little of its original appeal. True, the characters are one-dimensional – and Randolph Scott is no longer the hero he once seemed to be – but the story – obviously influenced by High Noon – gains tautness by its likewise insistence in observing the Greek unities of time, place and plot. It's also very capably acted by some familiar figures like Joe Sawyer and Fritz Feld and some not so familiar at the time like Charles Bronson (in a small role as the memorable Pinto). Both director Andre de Toth and photographer Bert Glennon make good use of tracking shots, overhead angles and tight compositions which reinforce the nervy small-town atmosphere. Music (David Buttolph) and art direction (Edward Carrere) also well serve the director's ends in creating a mood of high tension, power and suspense.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
" Riding Shotgun Randolph Scott Style "
PamelaShort3 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is quite a suspenseful western story, filled with tension. Bad man Dan Marady ( James Millican ) and his gang of robbers, plan to rob a casino. First they holdup a stagecoach which draws the local sheriff and his posse into a wild goose chase. The trick is to leave the town defenseless so the gang can come back and rob the casino. At the start of the picture, Randolph Scott is riding shotgun on the stage but is lured away before the holdup by the opportunity to settle a score with Millican. But Scott is over powered by Pinto ( Charles Bronson ) one of Millican's men. Scott is tied up and left to die. By the time Scott is able to free himself and get to the town, he discovers the stage was robbed, the driver and his rider killed and a passenger wounded. Unfairly and ignorantly, the townsfolk assume Scott is one of the gang and everyone wants him lynched. Three people try to protect him, a Cantina owner lets him take refuge in his place of business. Deputy sheriff ( Wayne Morris ), an old friend of Scotts tries to calm done the mob, which wants to siege the Cantina. The daughter of the casino owner ( Joan Weldon ) has a romantic interest in him, and believes he's innocent and tries her best to help him. After being holdup in the Cantina for hours, the townsfolk cannot wait any longer and now, the suspense really builds to an exciting climax. I do not want to spoil the ending for the reader. I will say, this Andre De Toth directed, Warner colour, 75 minute story is an extremely fine western film. The pacing of the story is flawless. Randolph Scott is at his very best, and Charles Bronson excels in his villain role. All the characters that make up the townsfolk are excellent in each of their performances. This is another underrated western that never fails to entertain
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wobbly Wezzie
screenman11 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Another Randolph Scott vehicle; and it's pretty lame from the outset. He's a stage-coach guard who is kidnapped by a gang and left for dead. When he gets back to town, most everyone suspects him of being in cahoots with the baddies. So why would he go back to town by himself and risk arrest or lynching? Don't ask.

What follows then is a wobbly wander through most every western cliché of the period as he falls foul of one citizen or another. The townfolk vacillate over what to do. The deputy isn't sure. Scott's character claims that the baddies are actually going to rob the town (its bank and casino) nobody buys that either.

It's a pretty slow, often boring and confused plot that gradually shuffles along. There's a lot of guff about him getting a horse to ride out and warn the absent sheriff and posse. But he can't get one. A cowboy in a wezzie who can't get a horse?! For an interim he is holed-up in a small bar and on 3 separate occasions, a decent deputy turns up to talk him into surrender.

In due course the gang turns up at the bank. Despite his earlier warning, nobody even sees them arrive. He gets there; there's a clumsy shoot-em-up. All is understanding and forgiveness thereafter. I'd have thought his being at the bank during its hold-up actually consolidated his guilt - but there you are.

There's nothing much to recommend it. A youthful Charles Bronson makes an appearance as a baddie. That's about it.

Scott made some memorable westerns in his time, he did precious little else. Perhaps inevitably then, he made a few bummers. 'The Man From Lamarie' was another. Thank heavens John Sturges came to town. And also John Wayne.
1 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
high siesta
Karl Ericsson18 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
For no logic reason whatsoever, our hero Randolph is left alive and sloppily tied up, so that freeing himself is like a walk in the park. After this idiotic beginning the film shifts into "stupidity high-gear" as Scott tries to convince a whole town filled with idiots that their town is going to get robbed. John Baer from "We're no Angels", who looks like William Katt's father (maybe he was for all I know), somehow got a role in this mess and makes a mess of that role - a mess in the mess, so to speak. Why am I writing this review? I only have a messy answer on that question. Soon, very soon, this review will contain enough lines for being permitted...just about...now!
1 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews