Day of the Evil Gun : Gunfighter Lorn Warfield returns home after an absence of three years. Lorn finds his ranch in ruin. His neighbor, Owen Forbes, informs Lorn that his ranch was raided by the Apaches who kidnapped his wife and two children. Lorn decides to find the Apache camp and rescue his wife and daughters. His neighbor, Owen, also joins Lorn in his quest. The two men don’t get along because Owen courted Lorn’s wife in Lorn’s absence. Angie consented to Owen’s courtship only because she believed her husband Lorn to be dead. Despite the tension between Lorn and Owen the two men are determined to find Angie and her daughters. Things get really hard when Lorn and Owen run into Mexican bandits, army deserters and Apaches.
Impressive and hard edged minor Western
It is not credited as such but this is essentially a retread of The Searchers ,and the two movies share a common plot -the hunt for relatives stolen by Indians Glenn Ford plays a noted gunman trying to turn his back on his former violent profession and who joins his neighbour ,Arthur Kennedy ,in the hunt for Kennedy’s wife and two children who have been taken by Apaches.Complicating the matter is the fact that both men are in love with the woman in question. They are helped in their quest by a demented Indian trader -played by Dean Jagger in a way that seems to be a conscious tip of the hat to Hank Worden’s performance in a similar role in The Searchers .The mission proves a fraught one -they are tortured by bandits ,encounter renegades and endure Indian raids en route to finding the people they seek
The men undergo personality changes as the trek unfolds ,with the previously peaceable Kennedy displaying a new found relish for the killing fields and events build to a personal confrontation between the two men Performances are superlative ,the script by Charles Marquis Warren and Eric Bercovi is pointed and candid .Jerry Thorpe directs capably if somewhat anonymously
This was designed for TV but wisely was given a cinema release .I urge all western lovers to see it