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Six Gun Movies [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Yuma
A down-and-dirty town is forced to shape up when a new sheriff (Clint Walker) comes to town. However, when a scheme is launched to destroy the lawman's authority, he must discover the perpetrators and preserve his reputation. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Evil Roy Slade
Overlooked when it first aired February 18, 1972, the made-for-TV Evil Roy Slade has gained a loyal and protective cult following in the past 20 years. The film was the second pilot for a never-sold TV western spoof created by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, Sheriff Who?. Actually, it was the second and third pilot, since Evil Roy Slade has been cobbled together from two hour-long films. John Astin is terrific in the title role, playing an outlaw so repulsive that, when he was orphaned and left stranded in the desert as a baby, even the wolves didn't want him! As an adult, Evil Roy Slade can't resist "going the extra mile" in his nastiness: while robbing a bank, he stops to pilfer a fountain pen chained to one of the desks, and the next shot shows Slade riding off into the sunset, dragging the desk behind him. Attempting to reform for the sake of pretty schoolmarm Betsy Potter (Pamela Austin), Slade simply cannot curb his crooked tendencies, so it's up to Dick Shawn as singing Sheriff Bing Bell ("Will somebody please answer that door?") to bring the criminal to justice. Shawn previously appeared in the original 1967 Sheriff Who? pilot as the "fastest interior decorator in the West"; in both films, he's almost unbearably funny. The Marshall/Belson script is full of hilarious running gags and throwaway jokes. Our favorite bit concerns railroad magnate Mickey Rooney's legendary stubby index finger: "They still sing about it around campfires at night," claims Rooney--and indeed, they do. The supporting cast includes such never-fail laughgetters as Milton Berle, Henry Gibson, Dom DeLuise and Edie Adams; also, keep a lookout for John Ritter and Penny Marshall in unbilled bits. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Treasure of Ruby Hills
Zachary Scott heads the cast of the heavily plotted western Treasure of Ruby Hills. The son of a notorious outlaw, Haney (Scott) intends to settle down peacefully in Soledad, Arizona. This proves difficult when Haney finds himself in the middle of a violent feud over water rights. The heavy of the piece is ranch foreman Doran (Dick Foran), who plays both sides down the middle in hopes of grabbing control of the water for himself. Carole Mathews co-stars as Sherry, Haney's sweetheart, while Lola Albright steals every scene she's in as the voluptuous May. Treasure of Ruby Hills was lensed by Allied Artists in the same locations later utilized by the studio's "Bowery Boys" opus Dig That Uranium. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Into the Badlands
The bizarre career of New Zealand filmmaker Sam Pillsbury had veered from the sci-fi weirdness of The Quiet Earth to the Cajun spice of Zandalee to the mawkish Free Willy 3 without ever really demonstrating a consistent vision. This made-for-cable horror-western anthology is the most confused work Pillsbury has ever done, starring Bruce Dern as a bounty hunter who gets frostbitten, cuts off his own toe, and talks to an outlaw's corpse. His attempt to track down the outlaw is the rough link behind this senseless mess adapted from some fairly good short stories. It still might have some allure for a surprising cast including Andrew Robinson (the killer from Dirty Harry), Helen Hunt, and Dylan McDermott. The most annoying segment has Mariel Hemingway as an eccentric woman who may or may not be under siege by wolves in her isolated home on the prairie. It's sometimes reminiscent of Mad at the Moon, an even more annoying prairie-set wolf tale. For genre completists, Lisa Pelikan from Ghoulies shows up, and co-writer Dick Beebe went on to pen the superior remake of House on Haunted Hill and the uneven Book of Shadows: The Blair Witch Project 2. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

The San Francisco Story
Joel McCrea plays 19th-century miner Rick Nelson in The San Francisco Story. The year is 1856, and Frisco is a wide-open town. To stem the activities of crooks and con artists, newspaper editor Jim Martin (Onslow Stevens) organizes a group of peace-keeping vigilantes. Nelson, an old friend of Martin's, arrives in the Golden Gate city to help out. The villain of the piece is political boss Andrew Cain (Sidney Blackmer), who regards San Francisco as his own personal fiefdom. When not battling Cain's bought-off flunkies and hulking henchman, Nelson dallies with Cain's erstwhile girlfriend Adelaide McCall (Yvonne DeCarlo). Not so much a western as a historical actioner, The San Francisco Story is tip-top entertainment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Against a Crooked Sky
Against a Crooked Sky is a remake of John Ford's landmark western The Searchers. Richard Boone appears in the John Wayne role, playing an ageing trapper obsessed with rescuing a white girl from her Indian captors. Another movie veteran, Henry Wilcoxon, is the ruthless yet honorable Indian chief. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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