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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From Hell To Texas (1958)

A cowpoke (Don Murray) is on the run from a land baron (R.G. Armstrong) for having killed his son although the cowboy is innocent. The death was accidental but there were no witnesses. Directed by the veteran director Henry Hathaway, this is a superior if modest western. What lifts it out of the ordinary are the gray complexities rather than the simplicity of a black and white situation. Even the "bad" guy (Armstrong) despite being poisoned with revenge has his code of ethics, limited as they are and the protagonist hero loathes every killing he has to do. The uneasy ending leaves one with a sigh of relief that these men can put it behind them though both men are marked for life. If the name of the character actor R.G. Armstrong doesn't ring a bell, you'd recognize the face as he's been in dozens of films and TV show and this is probably the best film role he ever had. Despite the title, the movie was filmed in California though you'd never know it as handsomely shot in CinemaScope by Wilfred M. Cline. The above average score is by Daniele Amfitheatrof. With Diane Varsi (very good) as a tomboy, Dennis Hopper, Chill Wills, Jay C. Flippen, John Larch, Ken Scott and Margo.

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