30 December 2014 | Wuchakk
Rock Hudson chases down the outlaws who have his babe
"Gun Fury" is a 1953 Western Starring Rock Hudson and Donna Reed as a couple traveling to California in the Southwest. After their stagecoach is held-up and Ben Warren (Hudson) left for dead, he revives and goes after the outlaws who have his babe. Along the way, he picks up a few characters that are also after the gang, an ex-member, a vengeful Indian and a Hispanic woman (Roberta Haynes).
Shot mostly outside in the Sedona, Arizona, region, this is a very picturesque Western. While the film begins slow it morphs into a chase movie with loads of Western action. The cast is great with Hudson in his prime and Leo Gordon as the ex-gang member, Jess, whom Ben starts to befriend. But it's Phil Carey who shines as the villainous Frank Slayton, an embittered ex-Confederate Southern "gentleman" who's still at war. The antagonism between Slayton and Jess is interesting in that Jess feels Slayton goes too far in his outlaw activities and increasingly objects. Although Slayton doesn't put up with it, it's clear that he regards Jess as a partner – a partner he's willing to slay in a heartbeat if necessary.
Carey comes across as a malevolent version of Charlton Heston. His character of Slayton is interesting: He justifies his crimes on the grounds that he's still at war even if the Civil War ended years ago. He wants Jennifer (Reed) because she's a genuine Southern Belle who reminds him of his former world, a world the war has forever destroyed.
Despite all these good things, there are some glaring script problems. Warren is said to be dead by one of the outlaws after the stagecoach heist, but later gets up and no injury is mentioned the rest of the movie (although he momentarily touches his head when he wakes and looks for blood on his hand, implying that he was perhaps head-grazed by a bullet). The worst plot hole is the awkward swap deal shown at the end, which totally ignores the vengeful Native. Old Westerns are notorious for these types of roll-your-eyes script flaws.
If you can overlook such defects, however, "Gun Fury" is a worthwhile 50's Western for the many positive points noted above.
The film is short and sweet at only 83 minutes.