The Bounty Man

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Two rival bounty hunters are after the same killer, but find they have to join together to fight off his gang

ACTORS :   Clint Walker, Richard Basehart, John Ericson

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1972

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

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Storyline

Two rival bounty hunters are after the same killer, but find they have to join together to fight off his gang.

A neat 70’s made-for-TV Western

Mean and formidable bounty hunter Kinkaid (a suberbly hard-edged portrayal by Clink Walker) nabs likable outlaw Billy Riddle (an engaging performance by John Ericson) in order to collect the substantial reward that’s been placed on his head. Kinkaid and Riddle go trekking across a remote desert region. Riddle’s naive, but loyal and feisty prostitute girlfriend Mae (a delightfully spirited turn by Margot Kidder) tags along. Complications ensue when the trio runs afoul of a no-count gang of mangy desperadoes lead by the shrewd and fearsome Angus Keough (Richard Basehart in deliciously robust and wicked form). Firmly directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, with a smart, intriguing script by Jim Byrnes, a steady pace, several exciting and well-staged action scenes, crisp cinematography by Ralph Woolsey, well-drawn characters (for example, Kinkaid is really a tragic and lonely figure while Riddle ultimately gets exposed as a sniveling selfish coward), a pleasingly harmonic folksy score by the Orphange, a tough, gritty tone, and a refreshing surprise ending, this film makes for an enjoyable and engrossing sagebrush saga. Moreover, this movie benefits from uniformly fine acting from a tip-top cast: Walker impresses in the lead, Basehart registers strongly as a memorably cunning and nasty villain, Kidder shines in the token female role, plus there’s solid support from Arthur Hunnicutt as a grizzled sheriff, Gene Evans as amiable saloon keeper Tom Brady, Rex Holman as the laid-back Driskill, Dennis Cross as the hot-tempered Rufus, and Paul Harper as grubby trader Hargus. A nice little picture.

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