TIME FOR KILLING (aka: THE LONG RIDE HOME)
(director: Phil Karlson; screenwriters: Halsted Welles/from the novel
"The Southern Blade" by Colby Wolford and Harley
Duncan; cinematographer: Kenneth Peach;
Livingston; music: Mundell Lowe; cast:
Inger Stevens (Emily
Biddle), Glenn Ford (Maj. Tom Wolcott), Paul Petersen
(Blue Lake), Timothy Carey (Billy Cat), Kenneth Tobey
(Sgt. Cleehan), Richard X. Slattery (Cpl. Paddy
Darling), Harrison J. Ford (Lt Shaffer), Kay E. Kuter
(Owelson), Dick Miller (Zollicoffer), Emile Meyer (Col.
Harries), Marshall Reed (Stedner), George Hamilton
(Capt. Dorrit Bentley), Max Baer Jr. (Sgt. Luther
Liskell), Todd Armstrong (Lt. 'Pru' Prudessing), Duke
Hobbie (Lt. Frist), Dean Stanton (Sgt. Dan Way), James
Davidson (Little Mo), Charlie Briggs (Sgt. Kettlinger),
Craig Curtis (Bagnef), Jay Ripley (Cpl. Timothy Dwight
Lovingwood), Dean Goodhill (Bruce); Runtime:
89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry Joe Brown;
Columbia Pictures; 1967)
"Brazenly tells how war is corrupting."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Karlson ("The Silencers"/"The Wrecking Crew"/"The Big
directs this grisly western that brazenly tells how
war is corrupting and can lead men into becoming
killing machines. It's based on the 1961 novel "The
Southern Blade" by Colby Wolford and Harley Duncan and
is written by Halsted Welles.
Nearing the end of the bloody Civil War, after four years, Confederate prisoners led by Captain Bentley (George Hamilton) escape from Fort Hawkes, Utah. On the run, heading for the Mexican border, the deceitful Bentley, vowing that the war will never end for him, ambushes a detail of Union soldiers and take as hostage the attractive Emily Biddle (Inger Stevens), a missionary engaged to the fort's second-in-command, Maj. Tom Wolcott (Glenn Ford). The obstinate Col. Harries (Emile Meyer) orders the reluctant Wolcott to take a detail and go after the Rebs, even as Wolcott reasons with his commander that the war is almost over and even if the Rebs are caught they'll soon be released.
The Rebs hole up in a
Mexican bordello in the Arizona badlands, near the Mexican
border. Instead of escaping or returning home, madman
Bentley waits for the Union soldiers to catch up and
has his sadist sergeant, Luther Liskell (Max Baer), kill the Union
dispatch rider carrying the news that the war is over.
It results in the lives of soldiers on both sides
killed unnecessarily and of the Major illegally
crossing the border into Mexico to defend the honor of
his missionary girlfriend who was raped and beaten by
The savage nature of the
film was carried off in an edgy way, making it play
out better than the preachy and much too talkative
script. Ford can play this earnest soldier role in his
sleep and gives the film the lift it craved to be
somewhat better than a B film.
The 35-year-old Inger
Stevens committed suicide a year after the film's
release in 1969, which stunned the Hollywood
REVIEWED ON 6/29/2012 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ