Seeing “Riding Shotgun” again after half a century is a welcome reminder of the peak that the western film of the fifties achieved.
Director De Toth, who actually had ranch experience despite his Hungarian origins,obviously took great satisfaction in finding such a variety of effective angles and pieces of western imagery to present what is a well constructed story. When our weathered hero has to shoot out the candle in Fritz Feld’s “dirty little cantina” it not only provides a chance for master cameramen Bert Glennon (“Stagecoach”) to do an effective light change but it also gives us a couple of reels of the disturbing image of the blackened door-way that no one in the town is game to enter, not sure if Randy is dead or not.
The film making is better than most of the bigger pictures could muster.
The Warner western street re-dressed. Interesting cast – Joe Sawer in a non comedy role, punching it out with Scott, Charlie Bronson getting started, Millican in his best part – are those Frank Ferguson, Cesare Gravina and Bob Steele in uncredited walk-ons?
Pretension free, work like the Scott-De Toth series made going to the movies a rewarding, addictive habit.