Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
Railroad surveyer Clay O'Mara goes after rustlers who murdered his father and brother. Along the way, he first arrests then teams up with outlaw Whitey Kincade, who helps Clay, only to see how long the tenderfoot lasts. Outwitting several attempts on his life engineered by the crooked lawyer who set up his family, O'Mara and a wounded Kincade face the gang. Kincade wanted to protect O'Mara and redeem himself, and goes down shooting.
During the ride from Diablo to Santiago, Clay has Whitey handcuffed. When they are ambushed and Whitey's horse falls down, the rider puts his right hand down to break his fall, obviously no longer handcuffed. See more »
Maybe you're getting soft, Whitey. Maybe you're turning into a human being.
Ride Clear of Diablo is directed by Jesse Hibbs and adapted to screenplay by George Zuckerman from a story by Ellis Marcus. It stars Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea, Susan Cabot, Abbe Lane and Russell Johnson. Irving Glassberg is the cinematographer with location filming in Technicolor at Lone Pine and Victorville in California. Plot sees Murphy as Clay O'Mara, a railroad surveyor forced to return to his home town after rustlers kill his father and brother. Getting the sheriff to make him a tin star wearing deputy, Murphy sets about finding out who was responsible for the murders. His first port of call is a meeting with notorious gunslinger Whitey Kincaid (Duryea)...
Lively and utterly enjoyable "B" Western in the cannon of Audie Murphy. Standard revenge formula of plotting is elevated to better heights by the central relationship between Murphy's honest do gooder and Duryea's rough and tumble bad dude. Director Hibbs smoothly directs and the story has one or two surprises to off set the expected lack of credibility in the story. Glassberg's photography is beautiful and there's good support to the leads from Jack Elam and Denver Pyle. The girls look sexy and are costumed in style, while the action sequences, notably a horse pursuit featuring a gorgeous white stallion, are good value for money. Everything, though, is in Duryea's shadow, stealing the movie, Duryea is having a great time as the cackling villain forming an uneasy friendship with Murphy. It's this coupling, and the turn of events in the finale, that most will fondly remember the film for.
Real solid stuff. 7/10
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