HOSTILE GUNS (director: R. G. Springsteen; screenwriters: story by James Edward Grant & Sloan Nibley/Steve Fisher; cinematographer: Lothrop B. Worth; editor: John Schreyer; music: Jimmie Haskell; cast: George Montgomery (Sheriff Gid McCool), Yvonne De Carlo (Laura Mannon), Tab Hunter (Mike Reno), Brian Donlevy (Marshal Willett), John Russell (Aaron Pleasant), Leo Gordon (Hank Pleasant), William Fawcett (Ollie Jensen), Robert Emhardt (R. C. Crawford), Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales (Angel Dominguez), Emile Meyer (Uncle Joe Reno), Richard Arlen (Sheriff Travis), James Craig (Ned Cooper), Regis Parton (Chig), Eric Cody (Alfie), Joe Brown (Bunco), Boyd “Red” Morgan (Tubby); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: A.C. Lyles; Paramount; 1967)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Routine Western that is part of the A.C. Lyles series. It stars veteran actor George Montgomery as hard-nosed but practical-minded Sheriff Gid McCool. It’s set in the Badlands of South Dakota and is based on a story by James Edward Grant & Sloan Nibley. The slightly amusing script is by Steve Fisher; R. G. Springsteen does a workmanlike job as director.
Mike Reno (Tab Hunter) demands back pay of $647 from his Uncle Joe Reno (Emile Meyer), who took the kid in after his father died but never gave him a dime for all his ranch work. In order to get the dough, the kid has to whip Uncle Joe in a fight. Mike heads into San Carlos and loses all his money gambling and then pulls a gun on the casino owner, but Sheriff Gid McCool comes along and arrests him. While Marshal Willett (Brian Donlevy) has to remain in town, the sheriff has to bring nasty child-murderer Hank Pleasant (Leo Gordon) to the Huntsville penitentiary and needs a deputy for assistance. This prompts him to take a chance on hiring the rowdy Mike, as he fondly remembers the kid’s father. They use a specially built wagon to transport the prisoner and along the way pick up three other prisoners– petty thief Angel, crooked politician R.C. Crawford and dancehall murderer Laura Mannon (Yvonne De Carlo). Aaron (John Russell) vows to free his brother Hank, and with five other gang members attack the wagon. Laura had flirted with Mike and convinced him to free her, but couldn’t shoot Gid when she had the chance. Gid places Mike in the wagon with the other prisoners, but when the gang threatens to kill the sheriff she pleads with Mike to help him–mentioning that Gid and her were former lovers and she still loves him. Mike proves he’s grownup by helping Gid repulse the gang.
REVIEWED ON 7/23/2005 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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