A young, determined sheriff and his posse chase a gang of murderous train robbers, and a kidnapped woman into New Mexico.A young, determined sheriff and his posse chase a gang of murderous train robbers, and a kidnapped woman into New Mexico.A young, determined sheriff and his posse chase a gang of murderous train robbers, and a kidnapped woman into New Mexico.
It's early 1880s Colorado and lawlessness is rife, mostly perpetrated by The Drago Gang who were able to enact their crimes and escape afterwards to the sanctuary of their New Mexico stronghold. One man, however, is not going to go down without a fight, the sheriff of Lodgepole, Chad Lucas (Murphy).
There's a school of thought that Audie Murphy's 1960s Westerns are far weaker than his 1950s ones? Which with one or two exceptions is rightly the case. The decade brought a wind of change in the Western genre, for soon Spaghetti would offer something new on the menu and revisionism was not far away either. With most of Audie's 60s output hindered by budget restrictions and a battle against the changing tide, one has to just hope there's enough on offer to not waste your time.
Gunpoint is a right mixed bag that shows the best and worst of Audie's genre output of the decade. Murphy is just fine in is characterisation, his fans suitably catered for, while around him is a stoic and reliable group of Western performers. There's some nifty stunt work on show, plenty of action (property destruction, horse pursuits, shoot-outs etc), and the location photography out of Utah (St. George/Snow Canyon State Park) is gorgeous. While there's also a splendid old fashioned locomotive to enjoy as well.
Narratively it's not high end, though a turn of events suggesting our hero to shockingly be a bully of sorts - which gives him emotional conflict - is a smart addition. Unfortunately the good in the production is off set by poor rear protection and polystyrene props etc, which while still carrying nostalgic value, comes with a hint of sadness of where these productions had landed at. Still, this is far from a waste of time, it holds all the requisite genre tropes for fans of Audie and the "B" Westerns we loved so much in the 50s. 6.5/10
- Sep 6, 2019