10 August 2006 | peanut-39
A Powerhouse of a B-Western
Surprisingly well done b/w oater, with great, often noir-ish cinematography by the masterful Russell Harlan. Director Kurt Neumann tightly stuffs the 75 minutes with flawless action. Not a single frame wasted. There are rich clichés and standard situations, for sure, but only the ones we love with classic westerns. And there's a bit of a surprise ending, clearly not what you would call a "Happy End". Character actors Sullivan and Crawford are very intriguing and add some deeper psychological aspects to the outlaw story of friendship, jealousy and betrayal. Both are stone gunslingers without compassion, characters based on the McLoury-Clanton gang of Tombstone. The real brutality and senseless killings of the Old West is installed during the first 5 minutes of the movie by Sullivan: a gun-happy murderer who shoots a gambler to death because he cheated him out of a horse months earlier. Definitely underrated and worth a closer look.