22 June 2005 | bkoganbing
How would Rooster Cogburn have handled it?
As portrayed by John Wayne, United States Marshal J.D. Cahill is a man obsessed with his work as a lawman. I guess you needed super dedication in doing that job right. Trouble is, he's neglected his two sons, Gary Grimes and Clay O'Brien who've fallen in with bad company. In fact that bad company has thought of a pretty good scheme in how to rob the town bank with the help from the Cahill boys. One unforeseen consequence of the scheme is the sheriff and deputy from the town are both killed.
Wayne catches up with some nefarious characters who fit a general description and have a chunk of cash on them. They're not the right guys and he suspects as much. The rest of the story concerns what happens as Grimes and O'Brien are conscience stricken and how that brings about a general righting of wrongs.
My problem with the story is that marshal's kids or not, they've committed a major league felony. In another film Grimes would have hung for it. Two law enforcement officials were killed in the performance of their duty. You do recall in Hang 'Em High those two kids who did not help Bruce Dern overpower Clint Eastwood still hung in the end. Or in True Grit, John Wayne shoots without hesitation some young criminals there.
But this is a John Wayne film involving his family so the Duke is trapped by certain parameters that his fans expect. It makes for some weakly resolved issues in the plot.
But if you're a fan of the Duke, Cahill U.S. Marshal will fill your bill.