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
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 Zions National Park in St. George, Utah on horseback to the highway and hitchhike to Las Vegas to fly out to the interview. See more »
We were friends once, Sam. It's not easy to shoot an old friend.
Friend? That's a long way back, Logan. And I got one big advantage over you. You won't kill me unless you have to. I won't hesitate one second about killing you.
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The last of the Audie Murphy's are the best. The early ones are enough to put anyone off watching Budd Boetticher's work.
"Bullet for a Badman" is solidly crafted and, in the scenes of the posse holding off the "murderin' Pachees" that grizzled old timer Tobias warns about, has an effective set piece. The traveling shot where the riders lift above the moving camera, as they gallop up the ridge, must have gotten a cheer in the theatrical runs.
Murphy's character, the Texas Ranger who retired to look after the wife and child of his jailed chum, Darren McGavin, is too saintly for all but the most gullible but McGavin's study in vengeful, shaded macho is just what the film needs. He's surprisingly plausible in the saddle. The men are nicely chosen and effective, with Springsteen's experience showing in the way they ride and handle weapons, used to build their characters - the best cowboy movie tradition.
The women get by in the scrubbed up manner which undermines these films' pretensions to realism.
The colour is OK but Joe Biroc did a lot better and the score, credited on the film to veteran Skinner, is on the glum side. The use of stunt doubles for the leads is too obvious too.
These Universal westerns were good value once they got a hint of production value, even if this one doesn't compare to the best of the Delmer Daves- John Sturges - Anthony Mann cycle.
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