FORT DOBBS, 1958 – A pleasing, tense if minor western from that great era for oaters. I remember this as a kid, but didn’t get to see it then. Directed by the ever reliable Gordon Douglas (studio hack supreme) it casts man of few words Clint Walker as a wanted man on the run who stops to assist lone Virginia Mayo and cute kid Richard Eyer, as the Commanches attack their homestead. She thinks he killed her husband so tensions mount as they cross Indian territory – then Brian Keith and his guns turn up! The surprise here is that this is in black and white, when even routine westerns were in colour, but the monochrome is surprisingly effective. Walker removes his shirt to display that impressive physique, Eyer is as good as he was in FRIENDLY PERSUASION, but Mayo impresses the most – shorn of her usual glamour she delivers a compelling portrayal, particularly when she wakes and realises she is naked under her blanket and her wet clothes are drying (there's more than a few nods to RIVER OF NO RETURN here). The Indians of course are just faceless savages … its nicely worked out, there is no overt romance as such between the leads, its one western that delivers. I liked it almost as much as SEVEN MEN FROM NOW!
(For UK viewers, YELLOWSTONE KELLY is screened by BBC2 on Saturday 21 September, 8.40 am.)
|Rog & Clint scrub up |
while Letitia holds the soap