Jaded ex-sheriff turned bounty hunter Morgan "Hick" Hickman (Henry Fonda) teaches wet-behind-the-ears lawman Anthony Perkins (in one of his first roles) the tricks of the trade, equipping him with the gunslinging know-how to take on local trouble-maker Neville Brand. Seasoned Western helmer Anthony Mann's lean, mean classic made the most of a meagre budget... and landed an Oscar nomination for best screenplay.
Despite the absence of his usual star, James Stewart, this is one of Anthony Mann's best Westerns. It's a classic re-telling of the story about the inexperienced lawman helped by an older, embittered gunman.
It also provided Henry Fonda with one of a series of meaty Western roles in the Fifties and Sixties. In this film, there's one stand-out scene, superbly caught in black-and-white, as the doctor's black carriage rattles back into town after he has gone missing.
And the showdown climax is in the best tradition of the Western, while Anthony Perkins gives an especially sensitive performance as Fonda's very agreeable foil.
Review from IPC