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Posse from Hell


wouldbestar
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I finally found that Audie Murphy/John Saxon movie I liked but had forgotten the title of.

It's *Posse from Hell* and thanks to *Westerns* *on the Web* I got to see it again. As often is, when it's a long time between viewings it was different from what I remembered but I still enjoyed it.

 

It's still my favorite of Mr. Saxon?s roles. He goes from self-centered eastern "dude" to "man of the West" quickly but believably and with a bit of humor. It's fun watching the courage he never knew he had, or probably even thought about having, come out as things get tougher. This is for all of us tenderfeet, or in his case tender elsewhere, who wonder if we could have made it in that world.

 

Another thing is the honest manner in which the kidnapping and gang rape of the young townswoman by the fleeing outlaws is treated. She too needs courage to forget about suicide and face the other folks who consider her "damaged goods" even though this is not of her own making. She is played by Zohra Lampert which really makes this a cut above the average Western. Two of the bank robbers are Vic Morrow and Lee Van Cleef and Robert Keith plays an old Army officer much like the one in *Ox-Bow Incident.* Royal Dano, Ray Teal and Rudolph Acosta are also in the mix. Acosta is great as a Native American who?s still willing to help recover money stolen from white men who hate him. Any bets on who the real "savages" are?

 

Murphy?s character, like many of the ones he played, is also a bit off-beat. He's a gunman whose lawman friend offers him a deputy's job in hopes he will join the right side of the law. He ends up having to lead the posse to get back the money, catch the outlaws and rescue the girl in that order of importance. The friendships that develop among the Easterner, Indian Johnny and him changes him as well as the other two.

 

This is another of those U-I programers that weren't supposed to be anything special but is. I'm always discovering one from that 50's-early 60's era I've never seen but am glad I found. This one is a gem.

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I admire your taste in westerns, Star.

Outside of Red Badge of Courage and The Unforgiven, this is Audie's finest film. As you pointed out, the developing friendship and admiration among some of the posse members raise this one above cliche.

The novel was written by Clair Huffaker, as was the screenplay. I remember giving my ten year old son the paperback and hoping he would find it insightful. That was 25 years ago and he still recalls it fondly and for all the correct reasons.

Wish this would be released on Blu or DVD.

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