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Dawn at Socorro

Dawn at Socorro

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Dawn at Socorro : Brett Wade, gambler, gunslinger, and classical pianist, is wounded in a gunfight with the Ferris clan; the doctor finds signs of tuberculosis. En route to Colorado for his health, Brett stops in Socorro, New Mexico along with Ferris gunfighter Jimmy Rapp. Sheriff Couthen fears another shootout, but what Brett has in mind is saving waif-with-a-past Rannah Hayes from a life as one of Dick Braden’s saloon girls.

Nice mixed salad of a western

Rory Calhoun is a world weary and consumptive gunfighter who just would like to hang up his six shooter, but a whole passel of enemies he’s made over the years just won’t let him quit. A little bit of Gunfight at the OK Corral and The Gunfighter tossed together.

After a shootout in one town he arrives by stage to Socorro where Sheriff Edgar Buchanan wants to get him out of town before any more blood is spilled on his turf. But Calhoun lingers and lingers, impressed by the beauty of Piper Laurie who he’s ridden to town with on the stage.

It’s a good B western, directed by a veteran of that genre, George Sherman. Sherman keeps the action going at a good clip and the cast knows their way around a western set.

Under rated classic 50’s Western

Any student of real western history will recognise the characters and part of the plot as being related to the Doc Holliday / Wyatt Earp /Clanton feud in Tombstone. Rory Calhoun is pretty obviously Doc while James Millican is Wyatt. The shootout in the stockyards is based on the OK corral and the screenwriters offer an interesting story on what happened next. Alex Nicol as Jimmy Rapp (John Ringo) is nicely portrayed and the movie moves along with a good pace of action, motivation and characterisation. Certainly a classic, considering the studio system in operation at the time it was made.A lot of effort and thought obviously went into its production. Well worth seeing.

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