Kittridge is hired by the villains but turns to defend the rancher Saxon after learning the true situation. Kittridge wins Saxon's ranch with a cut of the cards but Saxon has other reasons for deliberately losing the gamble. Telford and Lake try everything from bushwhacking to setting a wildfire to stop the Saxon/Kittridge herd of cattle from reaching the railhead.Written by
Carol Johnson <email@example.com>
During the cattle drive, Audie Murphy (Reb) has ridden up ahead, over a ridge, to scout the trail and sees a range fire burning towards the herd. As he races back down the hill to the other riders, his horse slips and almost falls down. He and the horse are able to recover and without missing a beat, Murphy says his lines to the others and the scene goes on. See more »
[After Reb's horse is shot, he hitches a ride on a stagecoach with a pretty, but aloof, passenger]
I ran into a little trouble this morning. I had to leave my horse back up the trail.
If I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, I'd say you still had him with you.
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A couple of saddle pals, Audie Murphy and Charles Drake, go their separate ways after a job in the Johnson County War in Wyoming. Murphy heads for a job offer from cattle baron Donald Randolph. But like John Wayne who refuses a job from Ed Asner in El Dorado, Murphy decides to throw in with small rancher Paul Kelly. Of course that Paul has an attractive daughter in Susan Cabot has a great deal to do with it.
El Dorado is only one of the other westerns that you can see plot elements from. I can count The Man from Laramie, Coroner Creek, and Destry Rides Again in which parts of those films are plainly visible in Gunsmoke.
Audie Murphy was always one of the success stories of Hollywood and then unfortunately a tragedy. Our most decorated combat veteran could have had a choice of any number of careers after World War II. He had what only could be described as an instinct in that he chose a movie career. He turned out to be a natural for westerns.
His product was always good. Too bad his career never took the path of a successful long running television series or going into A budget projects like John Wayne. Either of those paths might have led him to a longer career and life.
In fact both leads in this film met tragic ends, Audie in a plane crash and Susan Cabot, a notorious Hollywood homicide at the hands of her son. Cabot, but for a decision to leave Universal to free lance, might also have gone a television route. Though she became a cult favorite with The Wasp Woman, cult parts are hard to come by and usually really type cast people.
By the way, though it is not the only element of Desty Rides Again in this film, saloon girl Mary Castle gets to sing the Marlene Dietrich classic See What the Boys in the Backroom will Have in Gunsmoke. And why not? Since Universal produced Destry Rides Again and they own the song why not use it here as it costs them not a cent.
I think western fans will not be disappointed in Gunsmoke.
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