Four Guns to the Border – 1954

The Four Guns To The Border – they are an outlaw gang headed by Rory Calhoun with George Nader, Jay Silverheels, and John McIntire as members. They’re returning to Rory Calhoun’s home town where he had been run out of a few years before by Sheriff Charles Drake.

This is a pretty good Western from Universal International with plenty of action , violent characters , thrills and lots of shooting . In many ways this is a B-Hollywood western mostly filmed on studio sets but backed up with gorgeous exteriors . An outlaw gang (Rory Calhoun ,George Nader ,John McIntire , Jay Silverheels) encounter a former associate Simon Bhumer (Walter Brennan) and his beautiful daughter (Colleen Miller), who’s drawn to their leader. As the band heads for the border after they have done a bank robbery, they unfortunately come to grips with a band of renegade Apaches.

The film is one of a long series of colourful , double-features made at Universal International studios in the Fifties . It has impressive action sequences with rousing attacks and spectacular shootouts not to mention excellent performances by the actors .The rough outlaw Rory Calhoun and Colleen Miller as the luscious daughter have one of the best scenes on a stormy night, when they get together . The supporting cast is pretty good , such as the good-looking George Nader , the eternal secondary Walter Brennan playing an old gunfighter who still has a fast draw and now planning to retire on a farm, Nina Foch , the veteran John McIntire , Charles Drake , Nestor Paiva , Mary Field , and Jay Silverheels as a half-breed

The film was well directed in style by Richard Carlson . Richard. In the course of the next twelve years, directed some better second features. He also wrote the occasional TV script, as well as contributing articles on non-fiction subjects to several magazines .

Directed by Richard Carlson
Starring Rory Calhoun, Colleen Miller, George Nader, Walter Brennan, Nina Foch, John McIntire

The ‘Four Guns’

Four Guns To The Border (1954) is an excellent 50s Western from Universal International and it is due to come out on Blu-Ray in December.

This picture gave actor Richard Carlson one of his few directing credits. He does a good job. Wish he’d done more. 

It also gave Jay Silverheels a feature film to act in – away from his Television role of Tonto – this film must have been made at the same time as ‘The Lone Ranger’ was being produced.

Four Guns To The Border has a great cast and is in Glorious Technicolor

Colleen Miller in Four Guns to the Border (1954)

Above Coleen Miller

Ray Cully (Rory Calhoun) and his outlaw friends are heading to town to rob a bank with Cully’s purpose to distract his old friend Sheriff Jim Flannery (Charles Drake) who having married Maggie (Nina Foch) has reformed his once wild ways. But before they get there Ray has become distracted by the flirtatious Lolly (Colleen Miller) the daughter of farmer Simon Bhumer (Walter Brennan) who whilst an old friend doesn’t take to Cully and his daughter getting intimately acquainted. After the bank job Cully and the outlaws find themselves being hunted down by a posse but come across Simon and Lolly in danger from apaches and rather than escape go to their rescue.

There is one key thing I mentioned in that brief synopsis of “Four Guns to the Border” and that is that Maggie has tamed the once wild Jim Flannery and that is the theme of this 1950s western. And it is not just Jim’s taming which provides the interest as there is also the relationship between Lolly and Ray. But their relationship is much more interesting and is steamy.

Rory Calhoun in Four Guns to the Border (1954)

“Four Guns to the Border” has many things going in its favour and it is a visually vibrant western with fantastic camera work and colour. In fact the quality of the imagery, the wonderful backdrops, the shading of scenes and much more make this western, a B-Western that seems ahead of it’s time.

“Four Guns to the Border” really benefits from having a truly fantastic cast who seem to know that they are not starring in just another Western. The old timers such as Walter Brennan and John McIntire bring wit and wisdom to their roles whilst you can sense things sizzling between Calhoun and Miller. Talking of Colleen Miller it has to be said that she electrifies every single scene she appears in.

“Four Guns to the Border” is all about the characters

Well recommend it is not only is it different but it is also beautifully made. Great credit to Richard Carlsson the Film’s Director

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