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Six Black Horses

1961 | 4:3 | Color | Quality: Very Good

Audie Murphy

Dan Duryea

Joan O'Brien


Gunfighter Ben Lane (Audie Murphy) is about to be hanged for hoss stealin', but is suddenly saved by hired pistolero Frank Jesse (Dan Duryea). The two become thick as thieves. Later on, a gorgeous married woman called Kelly (Joan O'Brien) hires the two drifters to escort her across enemy territory so that she can be reunited with her hubby. However, Kelly has an ulterior motive: revenge against Jesse who has actually previously killed her husband. The beautiful Kelly will attempt to seduce Lane in pursuit of her goal by offering to split the large bounty on his head, but in the meantime the two pals must outwit several attempts on their lives by Indians Coyoteros. Adventure, duplicity, and violence explode as all these plot points converge and in the end we discover the significance of the title Six Black Horses.

Six Black Horses is one of several interesting B-westerns starring Audie Murphy from this era and benefits itself thanks to an interesting script by prestigious Burt Kennedy - Bud Boetticher's regular writer. That's why it contains some novelties, but also usual elements as noisy action, thrills, shootouts, riding pursuits, Indian attacks and some spectacular scenes. The film stars Audie Murphy, who always does a great job in these roles seeing as he was 100% real Texas cowboy - but it is co-star by Dan Duryea who steals the show as a bad/good outlaw who is in need of redemption. They are accompanied by a good but brief support cast as George Wallace, Rory Barcroft, and Bob Steele. One interesting tidbit: At 38 minutes into the movie there is a story told by Duryea about a past love in Bisbee who he later discovered was married to another man. He says it taught him a lesson, "Always check the brand to make sure you are not driving another man's stock". That same story is told 50 minutes into Fort Dobbs (1958) by Clett (Brian Keith) and he says "Always check the brand first and that way you'll know if you are running somebody else's' stock". Burt Kennedy was the writer of both films.

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