23 October 2010 | bkoganbing
Bringing Law And Order To Yuma
Clint Walker would have been a great movie cowboy had he born twenty years earlier. As it was he made his mark on television playing that most stoic of western characters in the title role of Cheyenne. In this film Yuma he brings his Cheyenne Bodie persona to the role of Dave Harmon, US Marshal sent to cleanup the lawless town of Yuma.
No sooner does he arrive in town than he's forced to kill the hotheaded brother of cattle baron Morgan Woodward. He arrests another brother, but later two men break him out of prison and then shoot him in the back. Unfortunately for them there was a witness, a young Mexican kid played by Miguel Alejandro who Walker has taken in.
Woodward is not a man given to calm discourse and that's what the people who shot him are counting on, that he will rid them of their new Marshal so that a nice little racket they have will go on unmolested. But Walker's witness leads to a nicely paced unraveling of the whole affair and a surprise ending, kind of tacked on, but still interesting.
Such players as Kathryn Hays, Peter Mark Richman, John Kerr, Barry Sullivan and Edgar Buchanan round out a cast of professionals that are comfortable in a sagebrush setting. Director Ted Post best known for Clint Eastwood classics Magnum Force and Hang 'Em High directed many a television western and he knew what he wanted and got it out of his cast.
Fifteen or even ten years earlier Paramount would have released Yuma to the big screen as a second feature in a double bill. Yuma will satisfy any western fan's appetite.