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The Fighting Lawman (1953)
Posted by Solomon
on 9/10/2017, 5:05 pm
This b-western out of Allied Artists with Wayne Morris, Virginia Grey, John Kellogg, Harry Lauter and Myron Healey illustrates how noir flowed into the western genre. Grey is an actress who is always sharp and feisty, eminently watchable. Here she is a full-fledged plotting femme fatale, although this is very far from apparent at the outset. Her capacity for coming up with plausible lies and changing sides reminds one of Jane Greer in "Out of the Past", and that's the point. Who could have imagined such a female character in earlier westerns without the noir influence? Sure, there are a few but it's not a widespread thing. This is why so many of the 50s westerns now appear to be noir-influenced or what's called adult westerns.
This is a robust action-filled western, smoothly done and well-plotted. Writer Dan Ullman focused on westerns, but he also wrote "Dial Red-O" and "Sudden Danger", which are neat modern detective noirs starring Bill Elliott.