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: Cast a Long Shadow (1959)  ( 366 )

« : February 19, 2017, 01:41:38 PM »

What's in a name?

Cast a Long Shadow is directed by Thomas Carr and adapted to screenplay by Martin M. Goldsmith and John McGreevey from the novel written by Wayne D. Overholser. It stars Audie Murphy, Terry Moore, John Dehner, James Best, Denver Pyle and Ann Doran. Music is by Gerald Fried and cinematography by Wilfred Cline.

Filmed in black and white and produced out of the company Murphy formed with Walter Mirisch, Cast a Long Shadow is a tired Oater on narrative terms. The look and feel is fine and the performances are more than up to scratch, but there's a thematic drive missing from the writing, a missed opportunity to really pump some psychologically distorted blood into its veins.

Murphy is a tough drinking loose cannon type who inherits a ranch and renounces his past and plans to marry his sweetheart. But the ranch is wanted by the townsfolk as a means of productivity salvation and it transpires it's in a whole bunch of debt - with the bank vultures circling. So Audie takes control of a crucial cattle drive and proves to be a very hard task master, so much so he just may kill off any hope of saving the ranch in the process.

In the background is the hovering question of Murphy's illegitimacy, something which bothers him so, and with him trying to go straight and sober - but in the process alienating everyone around him, the meat is there for a tasty stew. Sadly it's only averagely unfurled and culmination of story leaves loose ends dangling. Still, it's never dull, music and photography are in sync with the play, and Murphy fans get good value for their time. 6/10

Viewed via UK Cable.

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