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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rough Night In Jericho (1967)

An ex-lawman (Dean Martin in a rare villain role) gone bad runs a town with a ruthless iron fist. He controls everything except for the stagecoach line which is co-owned by his ex-lover (Jean Simmons). When a gambler (George Peppard) rolls into town and proves a formidable rival for the woman, it's inevitable they will clash. This a "B" western with an "A" cast. It's no great shakes but nominally entertaining. Unfortunately, this being a sixties Universal production, the film has the dull flat look of a TV movie. You'd never guess the cinematography was by the great Russell Metty who shot TOUCH OF EVIL, SPARTACUS and WRITTEN ON THE WIND. Parts of the exteriors were shot in Utah and they briefly elevate the film into a classier production but most of the time, it's obvious we're on the Universal back lot. The inappropriate score is by Don Costa. Directed by Arnold Laven from the novel THE MAN IN BLACK by Marvin H. Albert (BULLET FOR A BADMAN). With John McIntire, Slim Pickens, Don Galloway and Carol Andreson, whose line readings are so hollow and artificial she sounds dubbed.

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