11 November 2013 | hitchcockthelegend
I Killed Wild Bill Hickok is a fictionalised story about how a man called Johnny Rebel (Johnny Carpenter) came to gun down the famed Wild Bill Hickok (Tom Brown), who here is the corrupt sheriff of Tri City at the end of the Civil War.
OK! It's pretty bad if unassuming, where running at just over an hour in length it is thirty minutes too long! Released in 1956 but thought to have been made in 54, everything about the film feels more like a 30s Oater. From production value, musical scoring, acting performances, directing style (Richard Talmadge) and etc, it just comes off as being a genre piece well out of its time.
It's always the innocent.
Some olde Western staples are adhered to, with shoot-outs, pesky Indians, chases, pretty gal interest and good versus evil of course, but these are all gelled together by stock footage and repeat scenes to pad out the picture. There's a number of scenes of horses running around which really serve no purpose, though a clever white Palomino is actually the best actor in the picture!
It all builds to a furious finale, where producer - writer - star Carpenter gets to waylay practically the whole town on his own, his repeater rifles thrown to him from the side by the lovely Belle Longtree (Helen Westcott). It is here where the picture at least makes it worth the time spent viewing it, with a whole raft of admirable stunt work on show. Talmadge proves to be not much of a director, but the fact he was a stunt man of some note himself is very much evident in the film's last 15 minutes.
Approach with caution. 4/10