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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gunsight Ridge (1957)

An agent (Joel McCrea) for a stagecoach line is sent to a small town in Arizona in an attempt to track and apprehend a bandit (Mark Stevens) who has staged a series of daring robberies on their stagecoaches. An odd little western that always seems on the verge of being better than it is. The script is fine, perhaps it needed a stronger director than Francis D. Lyon (CULT OF THE COBRA). It's one of those westerns where the bad guy is far more interesting and complex than the hero. In this case, McCrea's dull and somewhat incompetent lawman versus Stevens' bitter music prodigy whose failure to fulfill his artistic promise appears to have turned him into a cold emotionless killer. At times, the film seems hopelessly routine then you get a quirky scene like Stevens' outlaw dalliance with a Lolita-ish teen (Carolyn Craig) while on the run that seems rather different for a western. The film has a couple of heavyweights behind the camera. The B&W cinematography is by Ernest Laszlo (IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD) with a score by David Raksin (LAURA). With Joan Weldon, Dan Blocker, Slim Pickens, Addison Richards, Jody McCrea, George Chandler and Cindy Robbins. 

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