DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

SHOTGUN (director: Lesley Selander; screenwriters: Clarke Reynolds/Rory Calhoun; cinematographer: Ellsworth Fredricks; editor: John Fuller; music:  Carl Brandt; cast: Sterling H ayden (Clay Hardin), Zachary Scott (Reb Carlton), Yvonne DeCarlo (Abby), Guy Prescott (Ben Thompson), Robert Wilke (Bentley),  Lane Chandler (Marshal Mark Fletcher), Rory Mallinson (Franl), Ralph Sanford (Chris), Angela Greene (Aletha); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John C. ChampionVCI Entertainment Allied Artists); 1955 )

"The concluding gun duel between the marshal and the fugitive is exciting, even if predictable."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Lesley Selander ("The Yellow Tomahawk"/"Tall Man Riding"/"Desert Sands") superbly directs this action-packed revenge motif B western. It's finely scripted by the actor Rory Calhoun and Clarke Reynolds, but without any deeper meaning than the action. The faded color cinematography and location shots by Ellsworth Fredricks are excellent (it was shot in Red Rock Crossing and Sedona Arizona).

Clay Hardin (Sterling Hayden) is the deputy marshal pursuing Ben Thompson (Guy Prescott), who almost blew the marshal (Lane Chandler) away in two pieces with his shotgun blast as payback for his serving a six-year jail sentence. When the ex-con misses Clay, the deputy takes the very same shotgun and vows revenge with the same weapon for killing his mentor. On the trail the deputy runs into one of Thompson's men tortured by the Indians , and puts him out of his misery. The outlaw had the hellcat Abby (Yvonne DeCarlo) in tow, as she's the lady he rescued from the marauding Indians. The deputy, joined by the sexy half-breed Abby, meet up with his rival, the cynical bounty hunter Zachary Scott (Reb Carlton) and fight over the woman. The three ride together trailing the fugitive into Apache territory, where he's selling rifles to the Indians. 

The concluding gun duel between the marshal and the fugitive is exciting, even if predictable. A nice touch has the Indians approvingly watching as bystanders.

REVIEWED ON 1/17/2015       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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