6.5/10
505
7 user 5 critic

Bullet for a Badman (1964)

Approved | | Western | 1 September 1964 (USA)
Former Texas Rangers Sam Ward and Logan Keliher become enemies when Sam turns bank robber and Logan marries Sam's ex-wife.

Director:

R.G. Springsteen
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Audie Murphy ... Logan Keliher
Darren McGavin ... Sam Ward
Ruta Lee ... Lottie
Beverley Owen ... Susan
Skip Homeier ... Pink
George Tobias ... Diggs
Alan Hale Jr. ... Leach (as Alan Hale)
Berkeley Harris Berkeley Harris ... Jeff
Edward Platt ... Tucker (as Edward C. Platt)
Kevin Tate Kevin Tate ... Sammy
Cece Whitney Cece Whitney ... Goldie
Mort Mills ... Ira Snow
Ray Teal ... Sweeper
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Storyline

Murphy plays ex-lawman who must strap on the guns again to catch a former nemesis, McGavin, who happens to be the ex husband of Murphy's wife and father of the boy that believes he's Murphy's son. Written by Rita Richardson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Gunslinger Whose Life He Had Saved Forced Him To Stand In The Path Of A... Bullet for a Badman See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Renegade Posse See more »

Filming Locations:

Snow Canyon, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was while filming this movie that Alan Hale Jr. got his casting call for Gilligan's Island (1964). He had to ride out of Zion National Park in St. George, Utah on horseback to the highway and hitchhike to Las Vegas to fly out to the interview. See more »

Quotes

Diggs: Nobody's gun is ever on anybody's side out of plain kindness of heart. A man's nature is too pure cussed for that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in City Women (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
We were friends once, Sam. It's not easy to shoot an old friend.
7 October 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Bullet for a Badman is directed by R.G. Springsteen and adapted to screenplay by Mary & Willard Willingham from a novel written by Marvin H. Albert. It stars Audie Murphy, Darren McGavin, Ruta Lee, Beverley Owen and Skip Homeier. Filmed in Eastman Color at Universal City, with the exteriors coming from Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, photography by Joseph Biroc and music by Frank Skinner (Joseph Gershenson supervising).

Audie Murphy plays Logan Keliher, an ex-Texas Ranger who has to interrupt his peaceful life to strap on the guns again when ex-friend-turned enemy Sam Ward (McGavin) appears back on the scene with the intention of killing him. The animosity is strong from Ward on account that Logan married his ex-wife and raised his son as his own.

The relatively short running time and the B movie production budget afforded it, doesn't give a clue to just how good, and how chock full of interest, Bullet for a Badman is. It's certainly very traditional in the old Westerns sense, before the likes of Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher gloriously filled their Oaters with psychological themes, but there is much to enjoy here from a character perspective as regards the human condition. Jealousy, vengeance, greed, love, hate and redemption, all get a turn in the Willingham's screenplay. Mix in some good old style shoot outs and run-ins with the Apache, and film condenses a lot in such a short space of time. There's also some twists and turns that work real well in the narrative, leading us to a beauty of an ending.

The male cast members work real well, especially Murphy who turns in one of his finest Western performances, while there's also a nice little support role for Alan Hale and snatches of stoic Western performers Ray Teal and Bob Steele. With most of the film set out in the wilderness, it's such a joy to see stunning location scenery expertly captured. The colour is not quite right to fully bring it to life, a shame since Eastman Color has had some great moments in Westerns, but Biroc belies the B movie production to please the eyes with the natural beauty of Zion National Park. Skinner's score is standard fare, and although the lady actors look pretty as pictures, that's about as good as it gets for them in this particular story.

In spite of some usual iffy B production problems (poor stunt doubles, bendy props), this is still a little cracker of a Western. One that deserves a bit more attention now it's readily available on DVD. 7.5/10


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