Murphy goes after bad guys who shot his friend the sheriff and abducted a local girl. In a plot reminiscent of High Noon, the posse of town blowhards gradually abandons Murphy; only tenderfoot banker Saxon remains, to prove his manhood. When they find the girl, obviously abused by her captors, Murphy shows her acceptance and sympathy whereas the others display only revulsion.
Murphy at his best
I’ve long been a fan of Audie Murphy and event his lesser movies are better than most of the drivel that comes out of Hollywood today.
This is a good movie on its merits and not just as a vehicle for Murphy. It works well on all levels – story, acting, and directing. What I most enjoyed is the fact each actor is given screen time to rise above the stereotypes and create a memorable character – even if they only have a few lines.
The two I remember most are the young banker Seymour Kern (John Saxon) and the Mexican cowboy Johnny Caddo (Rudolph Acosta). Saxon in particular does well showing true, believable growth; he isn’t just there as a foil/sidekick for Murphy to play off of but as a genuine character treated as equally important to the storyline. Acosta, usually a villain in the movies, plays an equally important role as a Spanish cowboy who joins simply because “it’s the right thing to do”.