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Black Spurs

1965 | 4:3 | Color | Quality: Very Good

Rory Calhoun

Linda Darnell


Struggling rancher Santee (Rory Calhoun) is on the cusp of getting married to the gorgeous Anna (Terry Moore). However, when it's announced that a wanted criminal with a big bounty on his head is nearby, Santee can't resist the temptation and runs off to catch the guy. Ten months later, he finally finds the outlaw in a small town in Mexico and proceeds to gun him down in the street - and also takes his BLACK SPURS as a prize. When he returns, he learns that his fiancée has left, apparently not wanting to be married to a low-life bounty hunter. Angry and betrayed, Santee sets out to become the best bounty hunter in the west - making a fortune bringing in the roughest and toughest criminals while becoming a very hardened man in the process. Consumed with greed, Santee conspires with a crooked town boss to dirty up a neighboring village where a valuable railroad franchise is headed, in order to divert it to the town the boss owns. But just then, he finds that his former fiancée is married to the sheriff of the town he seeks to destroy...

Black Spurs is the fourth of thirteen of A.C.Lyles "Geezer Westerns" released between 1963-67. Lyles created a niche for himself making these lower-budget westerns that all featured folks who had once been stars decades before. This helped raise these movies above their budgets and also helped aging actors retain their SAG memberships. This one stars Rory Calhoun, Linda Darnell, Terry Moore, Lon Chaney, Bruce Cabot, Scott Brady, Richard Arlen and DeForest Kelley (soon to land his famous role as Dr. Bones McCoy on Star Trek). Calhoun towers in the role of the masculine protagonist, there's a lot of Western action and the adult-oriented, soap operatic story is compelling. The supporting cast included future director Jerome Courtland, in his last acting role as a small town newspaper publisher living in sin. This was sadly the farewell film for Linda Darnell who is second billed though this is distinctly a supporting role. Darnell plays the head of a troupe of saloon girls imported to bring down the town's morals. They look like they know their business. Black Spurs was released posthumously after Darnell died in a tragic house fire.

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