At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.
Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling who has a personal reason for getting him back into his jurisdiction. Both men join Breckenridge and his wife on the drive. As they near Texas tensions mount, not least because Stribling is starting to court Belle and O'Malley is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Carol Lynley's next project which premiered a couple of weeks later was as Alison McKenzie in Return to Peyton Place (1961). Dorothy Malone signed up for Peyton Place (1964) as Constance McKenzie, but this time her daughter Alison was played by Mia Farrow. See more »
Kirk Douglas shoots one of three Indians who are merely hungry and looking for cows for food. When Rock Hudson goes to pick up the "dead" Indian to return him to his tribe and try to avoid being attacked, the "dead" Indian assists Rock in picking him up and putting him on the horse. See more »
To me, it always seems like it's the women who keep on living. Men kill or get killed and women bury them. We're professional survivors.
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The one and only teaming of Kirk Douglas and Rock Hudson in The Last Sunset was a fortunate one. Kirk's production company Bryna put this film together and the wise Kirk knew what he was doing when he took the flashier and meatier part of the villain.
In that regard The Last Sunset is similar to Gunfight at the OK Corral where the straight arrow hero of Wyatt Earp played by Burt Lancaster took a definite second place to Douglas's Doc Holiday. As Brendan O'Malley, Douglas is one devilishly charming one with the ladies and fast on the draw as all get out.
In fact Douglas's libido seems to get him in a whole lot of trouble. It's the reason that sheriff Dana Stribling played by Rock Hudson is down and out of his jurisdiction in Mexico chasing O'Malley. It's more than a job with Stribling as you'll see in the film.
While in Mexico Douglas meets an old flame of his, Dorothy Malone there with her husband Joseph Cotten and daughter Carol Lynley. Both he and Hudson strike an unusual bargain with the family. They'll aid them in their cattle drive to the American side of the Rio Grande, but then Douglas and Hudson will have it out.
Sounds crazy, but all will be revealed to the viewer before the film is over, although I'm sure some will guess.
Hudson got the far less glamorous part of a straight law and order sheriff. He has his moments, but the film really turns on the personality and charm and considerable talent of Kirk Douglas. This is definitely one of his top ten performances on film. Sad it isn't shown more often.
Dorothy Malone was doing very well around this time as a portrayer of western women. Her career really took off after that Oscar in Written on the Wind. She's the epitome of a strong willed pioneer woman who had to bend a few conventions to survive.
The Last Sunset is a great western, the usual amount of traditional western activity with some very adult themes in this which I just can't reveal lest it ruin one's viewing.
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