Most of the trade reviewers of the time gave this oater high marks for originality, evidently based on the "Dragnet"-style narration, since there was nothing original about the story Dan ...
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Most of the trade reviewers of the time gave this oater high marks for originality, evidently based on the "Dragnet"-style narration, since there was nothing original about the story Dan Ullman slapped his name on as it is just a remake of "Flaming Bullets, PRC, 1945", "Wanted: Dead or Alive, Monogram, 1952" and Monogram, PRC and Republic also had other offerings based on this plot, while Ullman sold it again in 1957 for George Montgomery's "Last of the Badmen." Two bad things happened to the western genre following "High Noon" and TV's "Dragnet"; a majority of the westerns made from that point onward in the 50s and 60s either had a narrative theme song (usually bad and giving away the plot under the opening credits) or an off-screen narrator or, sometimes, both. The plot has a gang of outlaws springing prisoners from jails in 1879 Texas, robbing banks and holding up stagecoaches with the blame being pinned on the escapees, and then knocking them off to collect the ever-increasing ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Essentially this western is just another 'coat-tail hitcher' that so many other films in this genre frequent. However, it is evident that this film was shot in a matter of days, amidst a standing western set that, no doubt, was employed by others.
Although the production value is limited, the story is still treacherous as two rangers set out to disband a local posse. The narration is used effectively in the beginning to set up the plot. Unfortunately, this tool is used throughout the film, therefore alleviating any suspense. This is the biggest letdown, especially as the end nears, and the posse's mastermind is unveiled.
Some interesting camera-work in some bar sequences again prove that even the most modest of films can still retain qualities of originality of expression. The limited use of sound and music allow the film to inhabit 'noiristic' tendencies, but the use of day-for-night filters is disappointing.
The acting is adequate, but effective, despite the total lack of star-power. A distinct companionship is understood between Ryan and Vance, and Thomas Carr attempts to actualize their bond at the end with a silent pull-in to the famous 'Texas-Rangers service plaque'; a cheap way to enamor the brave, but dead lawmen.
I was lucky to catch this one of a rare 16mm print while in school, so I refuse to totally condemn the film. It is worth seeing if you are interested in seeing how quick westerns were literally thrown together, or you are simply a DIE-DIE-HARD western buff.
** (of ****)
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