18 August 2005 | tmwest
a great goodbye from Audie Murphy and Budd Boetticher.
This film shows a cruel west. There is a scene where Judge Roy Bean is shown presiding the court, and the fact that he looks like a good hearted old man contrasts sharply with his sadistic way of giving the sentence. It also has cruel gunfighters like Billy Pimple with his stupid laugh and a voice like someone who is still in puberty. When Cass Dunning (Richard Lapp) is arriving to Silver City he meets Billy who tells him to be careful about wearing his guns in town. He implies that if one is not able to use them, one should not wear them. Cass thinks he is great at the draw and he is willing to prove it. He ends up rescuing Nellie (Anne Randall) from the whorehouse and they are married by the Judge Roy Bean. After that we get the best moment of the film. The couple meets Jesse James (Audie Murphy), Frank James and Bob Ford. If ever one actor could play Jesse James at this mature age it is Audie Murphy. He is excellent. Curiously, Audie played a young Jesse in "Kansas Raiders"(1950). Jesse tells Cass he is not up to being a gunfighter yet, because his hands sweat, but he saw him practicing and tells him to look him up when he can. Richard Lapp is different from any conception one might have of a western hero. And so is the film compared to other westerns, starting with the music at the beginning that is as far as it can be from anything epic or grandiose. This was a great goodbye from Audie and from Boetticher, It was Audie's last film and Budd's last western.