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Three Young Texans

1954 | 4:3 | Color | Quality: Excellent

Jeffrey Hunter

Mitzi Gaynor

Keefe Brasselle


Johnny Colt (Jeffrey Hunter) and Tony Ballew (Keefe Brasselle) both have the hots for tomboy Rusty Blair (Mitzi Gaynor) while working for her father. Tony loses his wages gambling, then borrows money from Johnny and wins $700, which they intend to partner up and put toward a ranch of their own. But Johnny's father Jim is also an inveterate, drunken gambler who gets drunk, catches a man named McAdoo cheating at cards, then shoots him in self-defense. McAdoo's two associates, Catur and Joe, blackmail Jim into helping them rob a train of its $50,000 in payroll loot. If he refuses, they'll tell the law Jim shot their friend in cold blood. Johnny resolves that the best way to help his father is to plan a robbery of the train himself thus saving his father from having to commit the deed. The gradual unraveling of this crime along with a surprising twist all lead to a deadly showdown!

In 1954 Fox was moving to an all-CinemaScope production schedule and it contracted out its lesser efforts such as the B-Westerns that were still popular. Leonard Goldstein’s Panoramic Pictures reaped the benefit and this was one of several color pictures, financed and released by Fox but made by Panoramic at the RKO-Pathé studios, that resulted. This was Mitzi Gaynor's only western, and Jeffrey Hunter's first outing as a leading man in a western. There’s some nice Harold Lipstein cinematography and stirring Lionel Newman music. The whole thing is competently directed by Henry Levin, who had been helming movies since 1944 and had done the Glenn Ford/William Holden oater The Man from Colorado and Rory Calhoun’s Way of the Gaucho before this one. A very rare film which doesn't seem to be shown on TV anymore. A forgotten but worthy B-Western that deserves to be seen!

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