|FACE OF A FUGITIVE (director: Paul Wendkos; screenwriters: story by Peter Dawson/David T. Chantler/Dan Ullman; cinematographer: Wilfrid Cline; editor: Jerome Thoms; music: Jerrold Goldsmith; cast: Fred MacMurray (Jim Larsen/Ray Kincaid), Lin McCarthy (Mark Riley), Alan Baxter (Reed Williams), James Coburn (Purdy), Dorothy Green (Ellen Bailey), Gina Gillespie (Alice Bailey), Francis deSales (Deputy), Myrna Fahey (Janet), Ron Hayes (Danny Larsen), Harrison Lewis (Charlie, bartender), Paul Burns (Jake, barber); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Heilwell; Columbia; 1959)|
|"Though Fred MacMurray
gives a good performance, he's too old for
by Dennis Schwartz
a talented arty director like Paul Wendkos ("The
Burglar"/"Gidget"/"The Mephisto Waltz") can't make
this contrived B western convincing. Though Fred MacMurray
gives a good performance, he's too old for the
part. It's based on the story by Paul Dawson, and
is weakly written by David
T. Chantler and Dan Ullman.
MacMurray is bank robber Jim
Larsen, in the Old West, who while in handcuffs escapes
from the kindly deputy (Francis
deSales) taking him by train to
prison to serve a possible 10 year sentence.
Unfortunately Jim's younger brother (Ron Hayes)
interferes, when not asked to, and as a result the
deputy and the young brother kill each other. Jim,
blamed for the murder, escapes by horse and then
takes the alias of Ray Kincaid, a mining company man,
as he travels by rail to the frontier town of Tangle
Blue. There he falls in love at first sight with the
single parent redhead widow Ellen Bailey (Dorothy
Green). Though only planning to stay in
town overnight to hide out, he ends up getting
deputized and the next day heroically saves Ellen's
stubborn wannabe law book quoting lawyer brother, Mark
Riley (Lin McCarthy), the
temporary acting sheriff, from the thuggish cattle
baron Reed Williams (Alan Baxter).
The cattle baron says if the barbed wire fence he put
on public land is cut again by the sheriff, it would
mean his death. A snarling James Coburn is one of
Reed's nasty henchmen.
REVIEWED ON 5/11/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ