Film Review – SHOOT-OUT AT MEDICINE BEND (1957)

Randolph Scott in Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957)SHOOT-OUT AT MEDICINE BEND (USA, 1957) **½
     Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures; Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures; Release Date: 4 May 1957; Filming Dates: 5 November 1956 – late November 1956.; Running Time: 87m; Colour: B&W; Sound Mix: Mono (RCA Sound Recording); Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Spherical; Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1; BBFC Cert: U.
     Director: Richard L. Bare; Writer: John Tucker Battle, D.D. Beauchamp; Producer: Richard Whorf; Director of Photography: Carl E. Guthrie; Music Composer: Roy Webb; Film Editor: Clarence Kolster; Art Director: Stanley Fleischer; Set Decorator: Ben Bone; Costumes: Marjorie Best; Make-up: Gordon Bau; Sound: Francis E. Stahl.
     Cast: Randolph Scott (Capt. Buck Devlin), James Craig (Ep Clark), Angie Dickinson (Priscilla King), Dani Crayne (Nell Garrison), James Garner (Sgt. John Maitland), Gordon Jones (Pvt. Wilbur ‘Will’ Clegg), Trevor Bardette (Sheriff Bob Massey), Don Beddoe (Mayor Sam Pelley), Myron Healey (Rafe Sanders), John Alderson (Clyde Walters), Harry Harvey (Elam King (as Harry Harvey Sr.)), Robert Warwick (Brother Abraham).
     Synopsis: Buck Devlin, whose brother was killed in a  massacre of his ranch, musters out of the service with pals John and Wilbur and vows to find the men responsible for the crime
     Comment: Uneven Western veers between outright comedy and serious drama. It commences with an Indian raid on the family of Scott’s brother, resulting in his sibling’s death. Scott vows revenge, not on the Indians who killed him but the crooked businessmen in Medicine Bend who sold his brother faulty ammunition. Scott teams up with Garner and Jones to put things right. Along the way, they are ambushed and their clothes and horses stolen. Helped by kind missionaries, they infiltrate the town undercover to put things right. Scott is as assured as ever whilst Dickinson, in an early role, and Crayne provide the glamour and Craig the villainy. The production is handsomely mounted, but it’s all very superficial and the constant changes in tone often jar.
     Notes: Song: m/l. “Kiss Me Quick” Ray Heindorf, Wayne Shanklin.