The Gun Runners, It puzzles me why producer Clarence Greene and Seven Arts thought the public would go for yet another re-telling of Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not” when both the Bogart-Bacall and Garfield-Neal versions are so widely regarded as definitive. But here it is, and I must admit that Mainwaring and Monash have added a few more suspenseful wrinkles to the screenplay and that Audie Murphy does surprisingly well by the Bogart-Garfield role. The other players are equally adept, particularly Eddie Albert as the chillingly convincing heavy and the lovely Gita Hall (in the first of only two movies, alas). And it’s always good to see players like Richard Jaeckel, Herb Vigran and Jack Elam in roles that allow them to display their talents.
Beautifully photographed by Hal Mohr on actual Key West locations, the movie also gives director Don Siegel some splendid action opportunities which he handles in his usual dramatic style, although the climax itself seems somewhat truncated by comparison with the preceding versions.