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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ride Clear Of Diablo (1954)

A railroad surveyor (the likable Audie Murphy) returns home upon hearing his father and kid brother have been killed by cattle rustlers. The sheriff (Paul Birch) makes him a deputy and sends him off to bring back a wanted killer (Dan Duryea) who may have information on who killed his father but the murderers may be closer than Murphy thinks. A minor programmer among many such westerns churned out by Universal in the 1950s but it's pretty solid if standard stuff that should please western buffs. Duryea as a laughing gunman seems to be channeling Richard Widmark from KISS OF DEATH but he provides most of the movie's humor and the one character who seems fresh among the western stereotypes. Directed by Jesse Hibbs, who directed Murphy in six of his films. With Susan Cabot as the "good" sheriff's daughter, Abbe Lane as the "bad" saloon girl (who gets to sing two songs), Jack Elam, Paul Birch and Russell Johnson.

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