EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|PLUNDERERS, THE (director: Joseph Pevney; screenwriter: Bob Barbash; cinematographer: Gene Polito; editor: Tom McAdoo; music: Leonard Rosenman; cast: Jeff Chandler (Sam Christie), Marsha Hunt (Kate Miller), Dolores Hart (Ellie Walters), Jay C. Flippen (Sheriff Tom McCauley), Ray Stricklyn (Jeb), John Saxon (Rondo), Roger Torrey (Mule), Dee Pollock (Davy), Vaughn Taylor (Jess Walters), James Westerfield (Mike Baron), Joseph Hamilton (Abilene), Harvey Stephens (Doc Fuller), Ray Ferrell (Billy Miller); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joseph Pevney; Allied Artists; 1960)|
|"The film has been fairly compared to The
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A decent Western about four punks who take over a frightened town and terrorize it until its one-armed Civil War veteran hero overcomes his self-pity and rids the town of these young toughs. Director Joseph Pevney ("3 Ring Circus"/"Away All Boats"/"Torpedo Run") crisply directs this taut but predictable screenplay by Bob Barbash.
Four young cowboys, Jeb (Ray Stricklyn),
Rondo (John Saxon), Mule (Roger Torrey), and Davy (Dee Pollock), ride
into the dusty town of Trail City while still fuming that they lost all
their trail money in Dodge City and were treated like dogs, resolving
not to let that happen again. The four punks, led by Jeb, refuse to pay
their bar tab and the old sheriff (Jay C. Flippen) allows them to get away with it if they
promise to leave town in the morning after spending a night in jail.
When the boys are let out of jail, instead of leaving town they once
again purchase items they refuse to pay for and get away with it.
This time its clothes at the
general store. The boys also refuse to pay for their hotel room and
food, and the old sheriff is laughed at when he tries to get them to
leave. Emboldened by the ease they took over the town and that they
beat up the burly bartender (James Westerfield), the only one in town with nerve to fight
back, the teenagers take all the guns from the general store. After
they gun down the sheriff, their big guy, Mule, beats up the paralyzed
in the arm rancher Sam Christie (Jeff Chandler) and he mocks him as a
cripple. That turns out to be a mistake, as Sam uses his officer's war
experience to get the town to stand up to the punky kids and force a
shoot-out with the scared teens picked off one by one.
Lessons learned come fast, such as the
belief that if you
stopped the punks early on by slapping them across the face, Sam says
you would have stopped these troublesome cowboys right in their tracks
and prevented them from becoming
Saxon gives a diabolic performance as the
Mexican punk rapist, while a grimacing Chandler makes for a sympathetic
regains his courage when he overcomes feeling sorry for himself because
he got crippled during the war.
The film has been fairly compared to The Wild One (1954).
REVIEWED ON 7/10/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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