On his way home to West Texas, Tom Buchanan rides into the Californian border town of Agry, and into a feud between several members of the Agry family. In helping out a Mexican seeking revenge on one of them, Buchanan finds himself against the whole family.
Randolph Scott is in on the Light Touch of the Film from the Get-Go as He Smiles Broadly, almost Retardedly, but that could be a Ploy. He seems perfectly Able to Figure Things Out and is Ready with a Funny Quip.
After finding a Room is $10, a Steak is $10 and a Bottle of Whisky is $10…Looking straight at an Attractive Floozy in the Saloon says, “Is there anything in this town that doesn’t cost $10?” There’s more but You need to Watch this Amusing, Above Average Movie to experience the Fun.
L.Q. Jones is a Standout as Scott’s West Texas Buddy. There is a Burial Scene that’s a Hoot. Newbies seeking out the Boetticher/Scott Cannon might want to Save this one for Last, so They can Wrap it Up with a Wink and a Nod to One of the Best Collaborations Found in Fifties Westerns.
Note…Along with the Anthony Mann/James Stewart Films these were as Good as the Genre had to Offer in the Overdose of Oaters from the Decade.
Scott is first class, less taciturn than usual and displaying a gift for wry humour not always evident in his performances. The supporting cast is well above average and Barry Kelley, Tol Avery and Peter Whitney, in particular, are all excellent, playing their parts to near perfection.
The scenery, both in and out of the town is wonderfully evocative – cacti to die for! – the guitar music is hauntingly beautiful and the colours are bright and pleasing.
If I have a criticism at all, it is that the plot is a little too convoluted – too many twists and counter twists – but, in the face of so much that is good, this is but a minor quibble.
Incidentally, the only women in the production have such tiny roles, they are not even named in the cast list. So no-one “gets the girl” this time round!