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Sidney J. Furie
In this retelling of Gunga Din (1939) transplanted to the 1870's American West, three cavalry officers and a bugler work together to thwart a Native American chief intent on uniting local tribes against the white man.
Sammy Davis Jr.
The townsfolk of Cripple Creek fear Johnny Concho (Frank Sinatra), who acts tough and takes advantage of the populace because his brother is a notorious gunfighter. But when a stranger arrives in town, claiming to have killed his brother and treating people worse than Johnny, he's forced to face his fears and stand up for himself and the town.Written by
I've been expecting you, Johnny.
They wanna see me killed.
Yeah, I know.
They took my saddle and my horse. Everything I own. They stripped me clean.
Have you decided what you're gonna do?
You don't seem to understand; they took everything I had.
You went looking for someone to do your job for you. They went looking for what belonged to them.
There must be somebody in this town. I remember when Red was alive, everybody said what a great guy he was. Now that he's dead, they act like they never ...
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I've always liked Johnny Concho and I wish this film were out on VHS and DVD. Frank Sinatra gives one of the most unusual performances in his career in this one.
When we first meet Frank in the film's title role, he's the brother of a notorious gunfighter who's out of town at the moment. The brother strikes terror in the heart's of the town and Frank takes full advantage of that to bully the townspeople safe and secure in his shadow. Only Phyllis Kirk has any feeling for him. She's the daughter of storekeeper Wallace Ford and Dorothy Adams.
Two other gunmen arrive William Conrad and Christopher Dark and it turns out Conrad has killed Sinatra's brother and he's coming to his town to take over. They humiliate Sinatra and run him out of town. Kirk follows him.
Overnight Sinatra turns from punk into coward and becomes a man searching for some kind of backbone. It's a well acted performance, almost as good as his Oscar nominated role in The Man With a Golden Arm. Pity for some reason this has not been seen for years.
Two other performances of note are Keenan Wynn as former gunfighter turned preacher who helps Sinatra find what he needs to stand up to Conrad and Dark. And then there is Conrad in what I believe was his career role on screen. He's a villain of incredible malevolence, pure evil incarnate walking and talking on the silver screen.
However what I like about Johnny Concho is the climax an unforgettable one where Conrad and Dark are dealt with. Let's just say I believe Johnny Concho was MGM's answer to High Noon and a primer for what you do when evil causes a break down in all law and order.
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