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| | |-+  Face of a Fugitive (1959)
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: Face of a Fugitive (1959)  ( 2184 )

« : March 08, 2017, 02:32:15 PM »

You look very different with a gun.

Jim Larson (soon to be Ray Kincaid) is a thief, during his train transfer to prison his younger brother enacts an escape plan. The US Marshall who was holding him is killed in the commotion, while Jim's brother is fatally wounded. Making his way into a nearby town, Larson acquires a gun and a horse but is unable to leave the town as the sheriff has quarantined it till a delivery of wanted posters arrive, these of course will show the face of the wanted man, that man is of course Jim Larson. Whilst marking his time, Larson gets embroiled in a war between the sheriff and a tough rancher, Reed Williams, finding himself strangely on the good side of the law.

Fred MacMurray is not a name that instantly springs to mind when the talk turns to the Western genre, which is surprising, because although he hardly dominates in the genre pieces he did, he was more than capable of carrying a role in a few of the Westerns he starred in. Such is the case here as Jim Larson, thankfully putting a bit of gritty honesty into the picture and steering it safely to its intriguing conclusion. Face of a Fugitive is a very accomplished piece, not a film to linger long in the memory, but it's thematic redemptive heart is most assuredly of major interest, with the finale excellently fulfilling the shoot out fan's needs. James Coburn turns up in one of his first major roles and hints at what was to come later in his career, and a thumbs up for Alan Baxter who revels in bad guy duties as Reed Williams.

Tight and hugely enjoyable, Face of a Fugitive is one to catch if you are a Western genre fan. 6.5/10

Viewed via UK cable.

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« #1 : April 06, 2017, 03:07:29 AM »

I saw this one on Film 4 yesterday and I thought it was good as well. As you say Fred McMurray doesn't look out of place in a western so he could have played more in the genre than he did.

I think it's a good story that was sparely told. There is not much in the way of wasted scenes. This economy makes me wonder if it was intended as second-feature release.

I thought it was a great scene when James Coburn got trapped in the barbed wire. I can't understand why the baddies didn't make mincemeat of the unhardened sheriff. But I thought that the fine upstanding sheriff character was well played. I think that he said that he had to look after his younger sister. To me that sister looked a lot mature than he did.

A decent film. I think that you have the rating just right. Sometimes it's hard to go for 6/10 or 7/10 when you're wavering.

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« #2 : November 07, 2021, 11:29:26 AM »

Not bad.
In fact it's good.
It has Some I unique elements in the script that raise it up above standard westerns of the era.

"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
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