11 October 2020 | MartinHafer
It stars Frank Sinatra, so of course I was going to watch it!
I love nearly every Frank Sinatra film I have seen...though, oddly, I'm not a particular fan of him or his music. But after seeing him in so many terrific movies, I couldn't help but look for the rest...the ones forgotten over time.
When the story begins, everyone in town is afraid of Johnny Concho (Sinatra). He's a punk and his nasty gunslinging brother has given Johnny a lot of confidence...so much so that he pretty much does as he pleases. If he plays cards, everyone lets him win. If he wants to buy something, he takes it and never pays for it. He's definitely someone who is easy to hate...and the entire town hates and fears him. However, one day a gang of three gunman arrive in town...and announce to everyone that they just killed Johnny's brother! Then, the leader (William Conrad) announces that the town is his...and if Johnny stays, he should prepare to die!
What happens next is great. The tough swaggering Johnny is suddenly exposed as a coward...a man who is more afraid to die than stand up to these killers. And so he slinks out of town, as the gang gave him 24 hours to leave or else! Before he leaves, Johnny begs folks to help him stand up to these guys...and no one is willing, as they are thrilled to no longer be under the Concho's thumb. What's next? Well, stay tuned and see...and be prepared for a very exciting picture.
During the 1920s through the 1950s, Hollywood must have made half a billion westerns....and 95% of them had one of about half a dozen plots. To say that there is a strong sameness about them all is fair. But fortunately for "Johnny Concho", the film is among the 5% of wholly original, and therefore compelling westerns. It's exciting, difficult to predict and offers some great opportunities for fine actors like Sinatra as well as Keenan Wynn, WIlliam Conrad and Wallace Ford to show their skills. Overall, a wonderful western...and one of the better ones you can find.