23 January 2020 | masonfisk
MURPHY'S IN OVER HIS HEAD HERE...!
A rare Audie Murphy Western shot in black & white (I can only recall 2 other of his films shot the same way being The Quiet American & The Red Badge of Courage) from 1963 directed by R.G. Springsteen (he did a ton of Westerns for the big screen & TV). Murphy, who is a bronco buster, & his friend, a vet, are cashing out from a recent job in town but after a drunken fight (the friend likes booze a bit much), the sheriff locks them up both in the town square, chained to a pole along w/a bunch of other prisoners who have varying degrees of offenses under their collective belts. When the leader breaks the others free (in a scene which should be suspenseful but comes off as comedic like the chained up escapees from Woody Allen's Take the Money & Run), they stock up on guns & ammo & rob the local bank. Murphy & pal peel away from the pack but later run into the escaping gang where the vet barters for their lives w/a stack of government bonds he pilfered which he offers to cash for them in exchange for his & Murphy's lives. He goes into town, trailed by 2 of the leader's crew, & is brought back empty handed. It turns out the vet has an old honey on standby which he promised the funds to so Murphy is enlisted to get the funds back or make some moves which will save the day for all concerned. It's too bad the great location photography & tight running time is wasted on a story which falls apart as it chugs along but as was the case w/many of Murphy's Westerns; a lot of them were forgettable, w/only a handful worth remembering. Co-starring future Peckinpah vets, L.Q. Jones & Strother Martin w/Harold J. Stone wasted as the main heavy.