18 November 2020 | masonfisk
MURPHY/DURYEA RIDE TOGETHER AGAIN...!
An Audie Murphy Western from 1962. Murphy is a down on his luck cowboy who chases down, at least he thought, a wild horse (his has died) but finds out the horse is already spoken for. As he's about to be hanged for the offense, Dan Duryea, comes to his rescue & they both head off their merry way. They reach a town & after a night at a saloon, a couple of sidewinders try to gun them down & they expertly defend themselves gaining the attention of a woman, played Joan O'Brien, to hire them to escort her to her husband a distance away. A journey soon ensues w/them getting to know each other & they fighting off the advances of some Indians who want to trade for O'Brien which Murphy negotiates against but then things turn when during a gunfight, O'Brien turns her gun on Duryea & tries to kill him. It turns out Duryea had killed her husband some years before & she's ripe for a reckoning. Scripted by Burt Kennedy (who wrote many of Budd Boetticher's best westerns), this almost becomes one of Murphy's better westerns by default w/a sly & knowing performance by the always reliable Duryea giving this film almost a noir tinge to it. Another smart decision is by having a scaled back cast (much like Kennedy's scripted Seven Men from Now) keeping the focus on the principals. The title refers to the style & number of horses which pull a hearse in a funeral procession.