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Sunday, November 13, 2016


This little Western with Forrest Tucker as Town Sheriff has a decent physical production and a neatly structured story about a land grab disguised as racial ‘cleansing.’ But it comes up awfully flat with a largely faceless cast & paceless direction from tv megger William F. Claxton. (Someone should have introduced him to side angles.) The opening shows promise as gunman Lee Van Cleef rides into town and roughs up stable-hand Hank Worden. If only the scene were better connected to a plot that has the town elders running a ranch owner off his land for 'living in sin' with a Native American mistress. Sheriff Tucker smells a set up, but he’s also concerned about the rancher’s estranged wife, coming in on the stagecoach and, for him, the girl that got away. If only someone was around to make a movie out of the thing. Claxton (or perhaps vet lenser John Mescall) comes up with a dandy camera position right at the end for a long one-take shootout, but it’s the only memorable composition in the pic.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: From Hollywood’s Department of Tall Tales: Did Forrest Tucker really have the biggest schlong in old Hollywood? Stories tell of Mario Lanza pulling his out at restaurants to whack his wanger on the table. John Ireland lost screen time on RED RIVER after Howard Hawks got word of him ‘showing off.’ Desi Arnaz & Milton Berle also have their supporters. But only Forrest Tucker was known to putt with his; dropping to his knees on the golf course to take a swing. (Sure, he had to lean forward a bit, but still . . . )

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