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USA 1957
Directed by
Joseph M Newman
81 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

The Gunfight At Dodge City

Veteran screen cowboy, Joel McCrea makes a pretty good fist of playing Western legend, Bat Masterson ,in a film very much in the pre-Peckinpah style of B grade studio Western (McCrea would co-star in Peckinpah's Ride The High Country, 1962).

The film looks far from convincing by today’s standards but considerable effort has been taken to create a sense of the lawlessness in Dodge City of the time, a state of affairs which Masterson is determined to turn around after his brother is murdered by town boss, Sheriff Regan (Don Haggerty). A frequently seen character actor of the period, John McIntire, helps out proceedings as the town Doc, whilst Julie Adams and Nancy Gates provide the female charms (in one of the most bizarre lines of dialogue I've encountered, Gates' character, saloon owner, Lily tells Bat that Adams' Pauline, betrothed to his brother, Ed, needs not a nice man like him but rather a man who will "bash her brains out every morning before coffee". Either way you cut it, that's weird.

The film is a routine affair but of some appeal for anyone nostalgic for the classic Western style when cowboys wore clean clothes and the women lashings of make-up and the baddies were bad and.the good guys, good. Plain and simple.




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