(director: Michael Curtiz; screenwriters: Dudley Nichols/from a Luke Short story; cinematographer: Loyal Griggs; editor: Terry O. Morse; music: Harry Sukman; cast: Jack Lord (Johnny Bishop/John Butterfield), Robert Taylor (U.S. Marshall Mackenzi Bovard), Fess Parker (Sheriff Buck Weston ), Tina Louise (Selah Jennison), Gene Evans (Big Murph Murphy), Mickey Shaughnessy (Al Cruse), Mabel Albertson (Amy Hopkins), Shirley Harmer (Kitty Bishop), Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez(Pedro Alonso), Frank Richards (Zimmerman), Nelson Leigh (Col. Hammond); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Frank Freeman Jr. ; Paramount; 1959)
“Robert Taylor, known as The Hangman, carries this taut Western as the famed deputy marshal who always gets his man.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca”/”Anthony Adverse”/”The Comancheros”) directs this dullish b/w routine western that’s scripted by Dudley Nichols from a story by Luke Short.
Robert Taylor, known as The Hangman, carries this taut Western as the famed deputy marshal who always gets his man.
The marshal captures three of the four outlaws who four years ago robbed a Wells Fargo stage, and hangs two himself and allows the law to hang the third. The relentless marshal tracks the fourth suspect, someone he has no description of, to a dusty frontier town. The marshal discovers through the sheriff , Fess Parker, that the suspect, Jack Lord, using an alias, has become a decent citizen, is newly married and is working as a freight driver. Tina Louise, the cleaning lady, is Lord’s old flame, who refuses $500 to rat him out, but inadvertently leads the marshal to him.
Parker helps convince Taylor not to arrest Lord. After he lets Lord go, Taylor retires and takes Tina with him to California even though she was romancing the sheriff.
REVIEWED ON 4/17/2016 GRADE: B-