25 February 2014 | kevinolzak
Jock Mahoney and Lon Chaney
1958's "Money, Women and Guns" was a somewhat modest color B-Western from Universal, where Jock Mahoney was coming off his one science fiction title, "The Land Unknown." Elderly prospector Ben Merriweather (Edwin Jerome) is bushwhacked by a trio of masked marauders, two of which are killed in a brief shootout. In his final moments, the dying man writes out his last will and testament, leaving his wealth to a half dozen beneficiaries, and it's up to Mahoney's frontier detective 'Silver' Ward Hogan to track each one down. One is played by William Campbell, an ex-con struggling to go straight alongside young wife Judi Meredith (both worked for Roger Corman in 1966, Campbell in "Track of the Vampire" and Meredith in "Planet of Blood"). The youngest is David Kingman (Tim Hovey), a little boy whose only contact with Merriweather was a conversation about Santa Claus; his widowed mother (Kim Hunter) takes a shine to the wandering loner that David worships. One self contained vignette teams James Gleason's Henry Devers with Lon Chaney's Art Birdwell; Devers was Merriweather's former prospecting partner, who sends his poker playing partner Birdwell into town to cash his $50,000 beneficiary check. Jeffrey Stone followed up with "The Thing That Couldn't Die," while Phillip Terry did "The Leech Woman" (Tom Drake worked with Chaney in 1956's "The Cyclops" and 1966's "House of the Black Death"). As for Chaney, this innocuous little Western marked his final credit for Universal, the studio that cast him adrift following 1945's "House of Dracula," calling him back on only four occasions, the first three being 1948's "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," 1951's "Flame of Araby," and 1952's "The Black Castle" (he previously worked for director Richard H. Bartlett in 1955's "The Silver Star," for Lippert Pictures).