6 August 2013 | ma-cortes
Stand-out Western marvelously performed by an all-star-cast and stunningly directed
This is the story of the farmer/sheriff (James Stewart) who'd worn it -till he'd faced one gun too many...the novice young , a mentally-challenged stable boy (Robert Porter), he had to teach or watch to die . As a peace-loving, part-time sheriff in the small town of Firecreek must take a stand when a gang of nasty outlaws takes over his town . The $2 a month sheriff that's what they gave you for protecting people who ran like rabbits when the going got roguish ! . The villagers ask the unexperienced sheriff to rid the little town of bandits when a vicious gang of freebooters (Jack Elam , Gary Lockwood , James Best and Morgan Woodward) passes through, their leader Larkin (Henry Fonda) , who is suffering from a minor wound healed by a spinster (Inger Stevens) , decides to spend that night .
This excellent , meaty Western contains interesting plot , intrigue , thrills , shootouts and results to be quite entertaining . Outstanding Western balances action , suspense and drama . It's a classical recounting about an unexperienced marshal in charge of a village full of cowards and frightening people ; being probably one of the best Western in the fifties and sixties . The highlights of the film are the climatic showdowns , the twisted surprise at livery stable and , of course, the final gundown . The traditional story and exciting screenplay was well written by Calvin Clemens though clichés run through-out , the enjoyable tale is enhanced for interesting moments developed among main characters and especially on the relationship between Henry Fonda and Inger Stevens . Magnificently performed by James Stewart and Henry Fonda , they are awesome experts in the art of conjuring sensational acting , here are reunited in this atypical but thought-provoking western with a lot of reflection , distinguished moments and dramatical attitudes , in addition a multitude of entertaining situations . Top-notch plethora of secondary actors playing vicious, sadistic sociopaths who take advantage of the frightened townspeople such as Gary Lockwood , James Best , Morgan Woodward and veteran Jack Elam as well as villagers perfectly performed by Barbara Luna , Ed Begley , J.C. Flippen , Louise Latham , Dean Jagger , Jacqueline Scott , John Qualen , among others . Wonderful cinematography in Technicolor is superbly caught by cameraman William H. Clothier , John Ford/John Wayne films' usual . Sensitive as well as lively musical score by the classic Alfred Newman .
This is another superbly powerful Western being compellingly directed by Vincent McEveety , son of director Bernard McEveety. Vincent was an expert craftsman filmmaking occasionally for cinema such as ¨Herbie, Torero¨ , ¨Amy¨ , ¨The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again¨ , ¨Gus¨, ¨The Strongest Man in the World¨ and usually directed several TV episodes such as ¨Diagnosis murder¨, ¨Colombo¨, ¨Pensacola¨ , ¨Perry Mason¨, ¨T.J. Hooker¨, ¨Airwolf¨ , ¨Dallas¨ , ¨Cimarron¨ , ¨Gunsmoke¨ and ¨Star Trek ¨ in which four of the actors have links to ¨Firecreek¨ as Gary Lockwood, Barbara Luna, Brooke Bundy and Morgan Woodward all starred in Star Trek chapters . Well worth watching and it will appeal to James Stewart and Henry Fonda fans .