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Posse From Hell

Posse From Hell

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Storyline

Posse From Hell, Murphy goes after bad guys who shot his friend the sheriff and abducted a local girl. In a plot reminiscent of High Noon, the posse of town blowhards gradually abandons Murphy; only tenderfoot banker Saxon remains, to prove his manhood. When they find the girl, obviously abused by her captors, Murphy shows her acceptance and sympathy whereas the others display only revulsion.


Murphy at his best

Posse From Hell, I’ve long been a fan of Audie Murphy and event his lesser movies are better than most of the drivel that comes out of Hollywood today.

This is a good movie on its merits and not just as a vehicle for Murphy. It works well on all levels – story, acting, and directing. What I most enjoyed is the fact each actor is given screen time to rise above the stereotypes and create a memorable character – even if they only have a few lines.

The two I remember most are the young banker Seymour Kern (John Saxon) and the Mexican cowboy Johnny Caddo (Rudolph Acosta). Saxon in particular does well showing true, believable growth; he isn’t just there as a foil/sidekick for Murphy to play off of but as a genuine character treated as equally important to the storyline. Acosta, usually a villain in the movies, plays an equally important role as a Spanish cowboy who joins simply because “it’s the right thing to do”.

Violent western, good story, good action scenes.

This western starts with the bad guys, among them Lee Van Cleef invading a town named Paradise and by taking hostages managing to rob the bank, even though they are in minority. Vic Morrow is the cruel Crip, who seems to be the leader. They leave town taking a woman, Helen (Zohra Lampert). Audie Murphy is Cole, who will lead the posse. The best thing about the film are the action scenes. Perhaps because Murphy was a war hero, his performance in a shootout seems more real than what we are used to see. John Saxon is Kern, a New Yorker who is working for the bank and which is sent along in order to see that the money gets back. He hates the West and never rode a horse before, so part of the fun of the film is seeing how he will deal with his task.


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