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GUNS OF DIABLO (director: Boris Sagal; screenwriters: Berne Giler/from the novel The Travels of Jamie McPheetersby Robert Lewis Taylor; cinematographer: John M. Nickolaus Jr.; editor: Harry Coswick; music: Leigh Harline; cast: Charles Bronson (Linc Murdock), Susan Oliver (Maria Macklin), Kurt Russell (Jamie McPheeters), Jan Merlin (Rance Macklin), John Fieldler (Ives), Douglas Fowley (Mr. Knudsen); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Boris Ingster; MGM; 1964)
“Listless western.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Second-rate made for TV western, but it’s in Technicolor and has good production values. It’s based on two episodes of the TV show The Travels of Jamie McPheeters, that are edited together. Writer Berne Giler bases it on the novel by Robert Lewis Taylor. Long-time TV director Boris Sagal (“Girl Happy”)can’t do much with this listless western except keep it genial.Serves best as a time killer for those who will see almost any western on the Western channel of Encore.

Linc Murdock (Charles Bronson) is the gunslinger wagon train guide, leading them westward, who rides into a dusty town in the Old West (I think the town is called Diablo!) with the orphaned 14-year-old Jamie McPheeters (Kurt Russell) and visits old flame Maria (Susan Oliver) for some creature comforts.Trouble is that Maria is now married to corrupt one-armed lawman and town boss, Rance Macklin (Jan Merlin), Linc’s old nemesis. Guess how Rance lost his arm! The bitterness between the two old rivals leads to an ambush and shootout. At least the action in the climax is better than the trite dialogue, the long pace-killing padded flashback and uninteresting plot.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”