Seven Ways from Sundown
Poster of the movie Seven Ways from Sundown.jpg
Directed byHarry Keller
Written byClair Huffaker (novel)
Story byClair Huffaker
Produced byGordon Kay
StarringAudie Murphy
Barry Sullivan
CinematographyEllis W. Carter
Edited byTony Martinelli
Music byIrving Gertz
William Lava
Color processEastmancolor
Production
company
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 25, 1960 (1960-09-25)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$500,000[1]

Seven Ways from Sundown is a 1960 American Western film directed by Harry Keller and starring Audie Murphy and Barry Sullivan. It is based on the novel of the same name by Clair Huffaker, who also wrote the script. Young cast member Teddy Rooney is the son of actors Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers.[2]

Plot

Seven Jones (Murphy) is a young Texas Ranger on his first assignment, following in the footsteps of his brother, Two Jones, who was also a ranger.

He initially comes across a town that try to attack him, who are angry at the lack of support from Texas rangers. He learns that the town had just been attacked by outlaw Jim Flood (Sullivan), who had killed two men in a shoot out over a card game, and burnt down the saloon.

Jones reports for duty at the Texas Rangers headquarters, and it is revealed Jones's brother, two, was also a ranger there. Here he meets a woman, Joy (Venetia Stevenson) who is the daughter of the lady who looks after the rangers food, and he starts to fall for her. However, he is soon sent to capture Flood, who it is revealed is a legendary gunslinger and is something of a Western folk hero. He is dispatched on the mission With a more experienced Ranger, Sergeant Hennessy (John McIntire) by the Lieutenant, Herly (Kenneth Tobey). Hennessey protests that it is unusual that a new recruit be sent on such a mission after such a dangerous man, but Herly insists.

They track flood for some days, however, as they get close to Flood, he ambushes them and shoots Hennessey from range. Hennessy orders Jones to turn back, but he refuses, and Hennessey dies. Jones buries him, and he continues on.

Despite his inexperience, Jones manages to capture the outlaw, but he soon finds that transporting him to prison will not be easy. Flood, though easygoing in his manner, warns Jones that he will never be locked up again, but Jones is determined to take him back to Texas, and to justice. Flood has opportunities to kill Jones, but instead continues on the journey, all the while insisting that he will never be put back in jail. Along the way, several people for various reasons want to either kill the young ranger and Flood. Flood is extremely popular in some towns, who want to free him, while others want to kill him for his past deeds, or for the bounty. It is revealed that Flood has an extensive criminal history, having escaped Jail multiple times and the noose twice.

As the ranger and his prisoner make their dangerous journey, they occasionally have to work together to survive. They form a grudging respect for each other, almost a friendship, but they know that in the end they are on opposite sides of the law.

Cast

Production

The film was originally directed by George Sherman. Parts of the film were shot in St. George, Utah.[3] During filming in the studio, shortly after the unit had returned from location work outside Las Vegas, Sherman and Audie Murphy had an argument over a line reading, which resulted in Murphy pushing Sherman over and threatening to kill him. Sherman left the project and was replaced for the remainder of the shoot by Harry Keller. Murphy started an affair with co-star Venetia Stevenson, which lasted for a year.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Don Graham, No Name on the Bullet: The Biography of Audie Murphy, Penguin, 1989 p 291-292, 299
  2. ^ Seven Ways from Sundown at Audie Murphy Memorial Site
  3. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.