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Seven Ways from Sundown

1960 | 4:3 | Color | Quality: Excellent

Audie Murphy

Barry Sullivan


Seven Jones (Audie Murphy) is a Texas Ranger so green he doesn't even know how to use a six-shooter. He's being trained by grizzled veteran Sergeant Hennessey (John McIntire). The two are given a tough assignment: hunting down and bringing in the cunning and pretentious killer Jim Flood (Barry Sullivan). When Sgt. Hennessey dies in the line of duty, it is up to the rookie Jones to capture Flood on his own. Surprisingly, Jones does manage to apprehend Flood without a hitch - and the two form a strong friendship as they encounter Indians, bounty hunters, and revenge-seeking locals. Though the two clearly have affection for each other as they talk, play cards, and help each other survive many dangers, the inevitable fate of their relationship as lawman vs criminal is constantly hanging over their heads. Each man will have ample opportunity to kill or wound the other, but they must grapple with friendship interfering with the realities of the situation. This very cleverly written story has some surprises from the sly murderer, that will push the newfound skills of Jones to their limits. But in the end will these skills help Seven-Ways-From-Sundown-Jones get the job done or will Jim Flood get the upper hand?

Seven Ways from Sundown is directed by Harry Keller and adapted to screenplay by Clair Huffaker from his own novel of the same name. It stars Audie Murphy, Barry Sullivan, Venetia Stevenson, John McIntire and Kenneth Tobey. A UIP production in Eastman Color with music scored by William Lava & Irving Gertz (Joseph Gershenson supervising) and cinematography by Ellis Carter. It's another Audie Murphy Western that rarely gets a mention when the talk turns to Murphy's best Oaters - a case of it being underseen by the last couple of generations of Western fans, which is a shame because it has much to recommend. Very cleverly written, we the audience grow to truly care about the two main characters who are on opposite sides of the law. Sullivan teaches Audie a thing or two about life, and Audie gives Sullivan a lesson or two in morality. The two complement one another in the best of ways. The dialogue is often quite good and memorable. The ending, while not a shocker, truly resonates and makes us think about what we have just seen.

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