Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I actually saw FIVE GUNS WEST - Roger Corman's first credited work as a director - when it was origally released but recall nothing of the plot from that first viewing. I did catch up with it again about ten years back but my memories are very slight. Seeing it again it turns out to be an adequate low-budget Western. The plot prefigures Aldrich's THE DIRTY DOZEN with five condemned Confederate Prisones being pardoned to go on a mission for their Union captors. John Lund is o.k. as the leader whose secret is not hard to figure out and there is a nice performance by Touch Conners (later to gain fame in TV shows like TIGHTROPE and MANNIX with a name change to Mike Conners. Corman regular Jonathan Haze over acts like mad as usual and Dorothy Malone is the ranch gal whose presence is a catalyst to the group. Nothing special but Corman completists won't care. All in all it reminded me of a low budget, lack lustre version of Budd Boetticher's Randolph Scott Westerns. Rating **. Jonathan Haze turns up again as another mixed up character in GUNSLINGER made a year after FIVE GUNS WEST. Starring the reliable John Ireland, GUNSLINGER, is more off - the - wall than the first film as it features Beverly Garland as the widow of a murered sheriff who grabs a six gun at her husband's funeral and guns down one of the mourners before pinning on the lawman's badge and cleaning up the town. Another nice twist is that the saloon owning villain (a standard character in B-Westerns) comes in the shapely form of Allison Hayes. Other pluses are a woefully inept and under choreographed set of chorus girls and an ending that echoes the final shootout in the vastly superior DUEL IN THE SUN. Rating **

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

I have never seen Five Guns West and the only thing close to it is hearing the song "Five Guns West" by Adam and the Ants! :)