Monday, 8 October 2012
Archive's Fantastic Flicks: No Name on the Bullet - Full movie to watch
And so settle back in the Archive's virtual picture palace, get your ice cream and drinks. You can smoke here - too. No pesky smoking bans in the Archive's emporium of entertainment.
And so - No Name on the Bullet from 1959 and directed by Jack (I've made more than a few SF classics) Arnold.
Audie Murphy was cast against type in this western from Jack Arnold - Murphy was a real life hero, America's most decorated World War II soldier and the studios usually cast him as the good guy, and this movie must have seemed a bold move for the actor. It is a far more psychological western than was usual for Murphy, but the actor portrays a dark side that is, on times pure noir.
It was James Cagney who got Murphy into the movies, and Audie was at first a reluctant performer, but over time he became much more relaxed around the camera and skilled in giving it what the director wanted. The star made a great many westerns, not all of them memorable but most of them providing good solid entertainment,and one or two of them were very very good. No Name on the Bullet is one of the very good ones.
John Gant (Audie Murphy) rides into the town of Lordsburg and quietly checks into the hotel. He doesn't say much, nor does he need to -- his mere presence does the talking. Gant is a killer, a hired assassin, a gunman with 23 dead men to his credit, but he is not a murderer or a criminal; all of his killings have been legal, a result of self-defense when the men he was after drew on him. When he comes to a town, someone dies as surely as if he were the angel of death. Who has he come to "see" in Lordsburg? No one is sure, but as the sheriff (Willis Bouchey) tells his deputy, it will be mighty interesting watching the leading citizens over the next few days. Less than 12 hours after that, there's no law left in Lordsburg, every dirty little secret in every man's past starts bubbling to the surface, and gunplay has broken out in the streets between the men who think their respective rivals have brought Gant to town.
"Unlike most of Murphy's earlier Westerns, No Name on the Bullet has a philosophical edge which makes it closer in tone to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) than a six-gun oater like Destry (1954)". Film writer Jeff Stafford
And now thanks to the Public Domain and You Tube we are able to embed the full movie here on the Archive - select play and then click the full screen option and settle back and enjoy this B-western classic starring a truly great man, Audie Murphy.