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1953 | 4:3 | COLOR | Quality: Excellent

Audie Murphy

Susan Cabot

Paul Kelly



Audie Murphy is Reb Kittredge - a hired gun with a surprisingly strong moral compass who is making his living in the old west. Arriving in Montana while following a mysterious job prospect, he soon learns his intended victim is Dan Saxon (Paul Kelly). Town goon Matt Telford (Donald Randolph) is the fellow after Kittredge's services, as he covets Saxon's ranch and needs him out of the way so he can take over the entire valley basin. In an unusual turn of events, Kittredge wins the Saxon ranch by cutting cards with the owner, now finding himself on opposite sides against Telford. To pay off the thirty day note due on the Saxon ranch, Kittridge must round up all the scattered cattle in the territory, and get it to railhead while Telford does all he can to prevent it from happening.

A safe recommendation to Western fans who love being entertained by American hero Audie Murphy, Gunsmoke is directed by Nathan Juran and adapted to screenplay by D.D. Beauchamp from the novel Roughshod written by Norman A. Fox. It stars Murphy, Susan Cabot and Paul Kelly. Music is supervised by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Charles P. Boyle. Nicely filmed out of Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino National Forest, Gunsmoke is an unassuming film that follows a classic plotline: bad guy has reforms when he ends up fighting for the underdog (and falling in love along the way). Characters are well defined, pace is brisk and the action is well constructed by Juran (latterly 7th Voyage of Sinbad/Jack the Giant Killer). Enjoyable are the shoot-outs, the cattle drive, the runaway wagon down the hill sequence (those stunt workers worthy of particular praise here), and the devilishly handsome Murphy wooing sexy Cabot. Murphy and and the familiar face veteran cast all step up to the plate and turn a what might have been a pretty standard medium budget horse opera into one of Audie's best films. Watch for Jack Kelly in his pre-Maverick television series days as malcontent foreman Curly Mather!

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