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Audie Murphy is a Cavalry captain who must get “40 Guns to Apache Pass” so that White settlers can defend themselves against savage Apache Indians; he enlists a questionable group to assist in the mission. The men include young Michael Burns and Michael Blodgett (as Mike and Doug Malone), and old Confederate-with-a-grudge Kenneth Tobey (as Bodine). Laraine Stephens adds more blonde femininity to the cast, as the Malone boys’ sister (Ellen).
This is a tired and formulaic Western, with tired and formulaic being enhanced by comparison to more successful 1960s films in the genre. This film’s redeeming feature might have been the pairing of veteran Audie Murphy and newcomer Michael Burns – however, Mr. Burns never achieved Mr. Murphy’s star status.
Burns plays a “sissy” coward who, according to his sister, “can’t stand the sight of blood.” Watch for Burns’ little glance at his own brow blood for a sign he’s becoming brave! Murphy is no sissy; he learned the thrill of fighting at age nine, and joined the Army when he was fifteen. Listen as Murphy revels in the exhilarating fight he LOST at age nine! One of the film’s more important scenes involves Burns showing cowardice as his brother is attacked by Apaches; the scene is unbelievably ludicrous, and perfectly illustrates the film’s point – and pointlessness. “40 Guns” is additionally bogged down by a calming narrator who explains little that isn’t obvious.
Cast and Crew:
Date Release: 1967
Willard W. Willingham, Mary Willingham
Audie Murphy, Michael Burns and Kenneth Tobey
Action Movies – Western Movies
Additional details in:
40 Guns to Apache Pass in IMDB
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Filed Under: Western