This is the story of the most desperate gamble the west has ever known , dealing with a sheriff of Gunlock named Bill (John Agar) scheming on legally hanging a murderer called Sam Hall (Richard Boone) who shot three farmers found on cattle land , at sundown , and then he defied the law to hang him. As at the saloon , betting is 8 to 3 he won't make it . Bill is a tough ,reckless sheriff and with his own hands he put the rope around his neck . There is a strong confrontation between settlers and cattlemen all around the movie . Our two-fisted marshal has to contend with farmers who want to Lynch the prisoner , and cattlemen who want to help him escape . Shortly after, the farmers hope to lynch him before he can be rescued ; and Hall plans for getaway with his girlfriend Nellie (Coleen Gray) and along the way Bill is treacherously duped by his fianceé (Mamie Van Doren) . Sheriff Jorden is most concerned with finding out who hired Hall : there are several suspects , one of them results to be the sheriff's future brother-in-law called Ballard (Leif Erikson) . ¨Five minutes were all he needed , but five guns were betting the time would run out¨. "The Sun's setting for me. It'd be a shame to miss it" (original herald-all caps) .
Entertaining Western including action , thrills , fights , shot'em up and a peculiar love story between John Agar and the gorgeous Mamie Van Doren . The story is plain and simple , a strong confrontation with a twisted intrigue behind , as a sheriff faces off enemies alone and being abandoned to his fate by the gutless townspeople . An agreeable and slight tale , almost rudimentary , though full of cliches , as the script lines too often settle for crude routine ; however , packing some surprises . Bursting with appealing , charming characters, including decent filmmaking and interpretation . The final stand-off results to be tense , charged and riveting . It is a brilliant studio of a mob mentality in ¨Fred Zinneman's High Noon¨ -the Prototype for a Hundred Westerns- style with provoking individual characterizations , and paced in psychological tendry . As the desolation and bleakness of this town stands in contrast to the heroism starred by the brave sheriff who is betrayed by his girlfriend , too . The narration is perfectly adjusted , from the beginning , until the final showdown and being approximately developed in appropriate runtime : 80 min . John Agar makes a pretty good sheriff of Gunlock planning to hang a killer . Agar played a number of Westerns , some of them directed by John Ford as Fort Apache , She wore a yellow ribbon , and Along the great divide , Johnny Reno , Chisum , Undefeated , Cavalry command ; but he also performed other genres as Wartime : Hell raiders , Sands of Iwo Jima, and standing out in Sci-Fi/Terror genre , in fact he became a Science-Fiction icon , including titles as Tarantula , Revenge of the creature , The mole people , The brain from planet Arous , Attack of the puppet people , Curse of the swamp creature , Women of the prehistoric planet , Invisible invaders , Fear , Body Bags , The daugher of the Dr. Jekill , among others .
There stands out a fine support cast , such as : Richard Boone as Sam Hall, Leif Erickson as a leading suspect , Coleen Gray as his sister , the elderly James Gleason , Randy Stuart , Stanley Andrews , Paul Fix and Henry Morgan .
Atmospheric musical score by Frank Skinner and note the continuing use of ballads by a minstrel along the streets with song ¨Sam Hall¨ written and performed by Terry Gilkyson as The Music Man . It packs a colorful and brilliant cinematography in Technicolor by John Russell , shot in Universal Studios ; Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California . Produced in middle-budget by Albert Zugsmith , here director Charles F. Haas managed to create a nice work of art with fine acting , appropriate scenarios from production designers Alexander Golitzen and Sweeney , and attractive plot . As he makes a picture really intriguing , not merely because Charles Haas 's tersely economic narration of his material , but because Universal Pictures made a decission to cut budget and reducing locations . Haas worked heavily for Universal, and was assigned to write and produce Moonrise (1948). He soon returned to making industrial films, then turned to television directing. He made his feature directorial debut in 1956, and turned out a string of low-budget westerns, gangster and juvenile-delinquent pictures - several with third-string Marilyn Monroe wannabe Mamie Van Doren - before returning to television. In the early 1950s he, along with such Hollywood notables as actor Robert Ryan and director John Sturges, founded the Oakwood School, a private academy in Los Angeles geared toward "progressive" education. As Charles Haas directed films of all kinds of genres such as : Screaming Eagles ,The Big Operator , Girls town , Showdown at Abilene , Wild Heritage, Summer Love , Platinum High School , The beat generation . And especially working in known TV series , such as : Perry Mason , Bonanza , Hawaiian Eye , 77 Sunset Strip , Broken arrow ,Man Without a Gun, Death Valley Days , Charlie Chan , Zane Grey , Route 66, Maverick , Caravan , The Mickey Mouse Club , Dick Tracy , among others . Rating : 6/10 . Acceptable and passable western. Well worth watching .