Day of the Outlaw (1959)

Day of the Outlaw
Directed by Andre de Toth
Written by Phillip Yordan from a novel by Lee E. Wells
Security Pictures
First viewing/YouTube

Blaise Starrett: The trail ends in this town. There’s no place to go but back.

Jack Bruhn: The trail back is closed.

I love me some Robert Ryan but Burl Ives steals this movie out from under him.

Blaise Starrett (Ryan) is a cattleman who has lived in Montana for 20 years.  He spend much of that time chasing bad men out of the area.  Now homesteaders have moved in and bought chicken-wire fences to keep his cattle off their farms.  Starrett has murder on his mind.  His first victim is slated to be Hal Crane, whose wife (Tina Louise) just happens to be Starrett’s lover.  She begs him to spare her husband to no avail.

Fortuitously Jack Bruhn (Ives), a mean former Union army captain, arrives with his gang of even meaner hombres, and confiscates every gun.  Bruhn has suffered a wound.  The local vet tries to disguise the fact that he will very likely die from it from the men who are held back from rape and drunken revels only by Bruhn’s orders.  Will Starrett or Bruhn prevail and what will be the outcome for the town?  With David Nelson as the youngest of the outlaws.

This is a solid Western with some nice vistas of snowy landscapes.  Some of the dialog comes off as stilted but Ives is completely wonderful in it and Ryan isn’t bad himself.


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