Murphy plays ex-lawman who must strap on the guns again to catch a former nemesis, McGavin, who happens to be the ex husband of Murphy’s wife and father of the boy that believes he’s Murphy’s son.
” Classic Audie Murphy ”
Top Western with characters too realistic for modern audiences
This Western might be best described as a “motley posse” Western. The irony here is that Audie Murphy’s other famous posse Western, POSSE FROM HELL, probably sums up this posse just as well.
There are other similarities. Both posses are filled with very credible characters. The big difference here is Audie’s character. In POSSE FROM HELL he played more of a Hollywood cliché, another of those rebels without a cause sorts who are angry for exactly no reason.
Here, he plays a more believable character, a mature man more in tune with the realities of the old West. Purists may grumble about the lack of dust and sweat on these colorful props and clothes, but there are two chief reasons for this spectacular style of cinematography. First, is it’s artistic, of course. Secondly, and what we see is a problem later in the “dust and dirt” Westerns, is there is less confusion. The film is supposed to tell a story. With the vivid spectacle, we know what is going on. The trouble with showing what the characters see is that we don’t know what is going on. Okay, the dork who pauses and magnifies each frame, he knows, but sane, mature people will refuse to do this.
The characters make this a superior Western, no doubt about it. Murphy is a “stepfather” whose son doesn’t know his real father is not only an escaped convicted killer, but that he was once a Texas Ranger along with the stepfather.