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.
Cool, cultured John Gant rides into Lordsburg. Gant is a professional killer, and although no one knows who he is there to kill, they are all worried. Everyone has enemies, and maybe Gant is in town for them. While they wait for him to make his move, paranoia starts taking over...Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
Audie Murphy had finally gotten a role where he could show his dark side. Picking up bits from Dan Duryea and Barry Sullivan's affable bad guys in previous films he had made with them, his John Gant is a smooth professional killer, an arbiter of fate, who in this film at least,seems to kill only those who truly deserve it. Cat calm and just as ruthless,he's afar cry from the baby face "Man gotta do what a man got to do" types he played in other Universal westerns. His real life prowess as the Hero lessened the suspense of those films, in this it brings a much needed tension; who can stop him? If he had played the good doctor and Charles Drake was the gunslinger everyone would know the resolution before the fadeout. Here, in a dark reversal of "Shane"'s ending, the fast gun rides out of the picture,his job completed,the hypocrisy and failings of the "good people" exposed,and the frontier is a little more civilized. This film,along with "The Red Badge of Courage,and the original "The Unforgiven" are the roles that showed that Mr. Murphy could've been a contender as an actual actor.
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