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Monday, August 30, 2010


In 1951, WWII hero turned actor Audie Murphy was still new to Westerns, but he’s no fresher than the dog-eared plot turns in this standard issue ‘oater’ from Universal. He’s the just-paroled kid whose bad timing keeps landing him on the wrong side of the straight & narrow. Back with his old gang, he goes on a series of robberies & killings until he vows to turn himself in for the love of a fine gal. (He’s gonna need a heckuva lawyer!) Budd Boetticher, who’d soon be helming those fine budget Westerns with Randolph Scott, can only do so much with the mechanical plot points and faceless Universal contract players. (Murphy’s love interest, Beverly Tyler, is wincingly bad, while Noah Beery, Jr., the head of the outlaws, shows just the sort of effortless charisma Murphy could never muster. He’s killed off pronto.) Boetticher mavens will want to check out some neat action choreography: a double bank robbery that's cleverly timed against a blazing runaway haywagon; a no-way-out getaway that hinges on the use of a slow moving railway track turntable; and a pair of peekaboo gun-barrel showdowns in a darkened barn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Audie Murphy never claimed to be an acadamy award actor. He played himself and he did that beautifully. It's sad the critics of the time ignored his wonderful work.He was a dam fine actor.