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FOUR GUNS TO THE BORDER (director: Richard Carlson; screenwriters: George Van Marter/Franklin Coen/from the novel by Louis L’Amour; cinematographer: Russell Metty; editor: Frank Gross; music: Hans J. Salter; cast: Rory Calhoun (Cully), Colleen Miller (Lolly Bhumer), Walter Brennan (Simon Bhumer), George Nader (Bronco), Jay Silverheels (Yaqui), John McIntyre(Dutch), Nina Foch (Maggie Flannery), Charles Drake (Jim Flannery), Nestor Paiva(Greasy); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William Alland; Universal-International; 1954)
“A tale about moralistic bank robbers who pay dearly for their crime.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Actor turned director Richard Carlson (“Appointment with a Shadow”/”Riders to the Stars“)helms a tale about moralistic bank robbers who pay dearly for their crime. The routine western is based on a novel by Louis L’Amour and is tautly written by George Van Marter and Franklin Coen.

Bank robber Cully (Rory Calhoun) robs a bank in the frontier town of Cholla, with Bronco (George Nader), Yaqui (Jay Silverheels) and Dutch (John McIntyre). Cully returns to the town he was kicked out of by Jim Flannery (Charles Drake)–his former best friend gunslinger, who was reformed when he married the local school teacher (Nina Foch) and became the sheriff.

The gang escapes with the loot and head for the Mexican border, but are followed by the posse. When renegade Apaches, escapees from the reservation, attack a farmer named Simon Bhumer (Walter Brennan) and his teenage pretty daughter Lolly (Colleen Miller), as they take the other trail back to their Shadow Valley farm, the gang (all with a conscience) turn back from an easy escape over the border to fend off the Indians. In the process Cully is wounded and the other gang members killed.

On the trail, before the Indian attack, the sensuous good-hearted Lolly and the gunslinger Cully have fallen madly in love (as evidenced by a steamy kissing scene in the rain). When the wounded Cully is treated at her farm, she talks him into surrendering to the law while promising to wait for him when he gets out of prison.

REVIEWED ON 12/27/2010 GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”