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Gunsight Ridge

Gunsight Ridge

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Gunsight Ridge The latest of a series of stagecoach holdups in the Arizona Territory takes place on a stagecoach in which Mike Ryan, undercover agent for the stage line, and Molly Jones, daughter of the local sheriff, are passengers. The bandana masking one of the robbers slips and he is killed by the gang-leader Velvet Clark. The latter masquerades as a respectable piano-playing citizen of the community. The townspeople are aroused enough over the continued robberies that they ask Sheriff Tom Jones to resign but they agree to give him more time when he takes on Ryan as a deputy. Circumstantial evidence leads the sheriff to Clark, but the latter kills him and escapes. Ryan tracks him to Gunsight Ridge where there is a showdown gunfight.

STARS: Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens, Joan Weldon

85 min | Action, Adventure, Crime | 1957 | Color


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Minor flaws don't detract much from good story and excellent cast

"Joel McCrae" -- almost all you need to say.

But here he is surrounded by extraordinarily talented actors, all working well together in a much better than average script.

Many of the characters get a chance to stand out, including one played by one of my favorites, the great Herb Vigran. I actually had a chance to meet him when he was playing in a stage version, in Los Angeles, of "Merton of the Movies."

A certain major TV series star played "Merton," but, to be honest, he was the least talented actor on stage.

Herb Vigran could have given him lessons -- as could a very young girl (maybe 7?) in the cast -- on how to project. But Herb Vigran had been around and started with some built-in talent that just grew and grew in his years as, for example, a villain in the "Superman" series, and in guest appearances in such other shows as "Adam 12."

He was also a charming and gracious person.

Leading lady Joan Weldon was outrageously padded and I wonder, again, why talented actresses allowed themselves to be so used. She was already beautiful, she did have talent, and being made to look almost grotesque simply made no sense.

There were three other important female characters, merely one more factor that prevents "Gunsight Ridge" from being properly called a "B movie."

As a character not named in the credits except "Farm Girl," young Carolyn Craig just plain stole every scene she was in. She was a really beautiful 23-year-old who looked younger, and had an amazingly expressive face. In short, she was a marvelous actress and I would bet she was stage trained.

"Rosa" was the girl-friend of the bad guy and, as played by Darlene Fields, about whom is nothing known, was a very sympathetic person. Darlene Fields also was beautiful, and I'm surprised so little is know about her. She too gave a superlative performance and should have been in dozens of movies and TV shows. What a shame we know so little about her.

Another great actor was Addison Richards who seemed the perfect career law enforcer.

All the other cast members deserve mention, too, but we're running out of electrons. Let me just say, again, nearly every one had a chance to stand out as characters and every one performed superbly.

There were two or three director flaws, but there is no reason to mention them. They did not detract much.

One major flaw, though, is that one character who is killed off early is not listed in the credits. And the actor who played him really deserves mention.

There is a very good version of "Gunsight Ridge" at YouTube, but for some reason whoever uploaded it allowed most of it to be added on again after "the end."

It doesn't hurt the viewer: You just stop when the movie stops. But do start! This is an excellent movie, and would have earned a "10" except for the director flaws and one sound flaw.

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