Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
After robbing a bank Murphy assumes the identity of his pursuer, a famous US Marshal, when he stumbles into a town and is confronted by the local judge, Matthau. Murphy is forced to remain as the new Marshal; an old flame, Scala, nearly unmasks him by accident, only to be forced to assume the ruse of being Murphy's wife. The "couple" given a house and respectability, which neither has had before. They maintain the charade to avoid hurting a young orphan boy, Matthau's ward. Scala is torn by her loyalty to boyfriend planning to rob the bank and growing feelings for Murphy.Written by
Walter Matthau played the crusty judge/father figure to the boyish Audie Murphy. In reality, Matthau was only 4-6 years older than Murphy See more »
When Teller's gang rides into town, there are 10 total. One man gets killed by Maybe at the bar. When they split up outside of town, 3 ride away to wait for the herd payments. 7 ride back to town to try to rob the bank for the railroad payroll. See more »
Teeler is interested in that bank, and so am I. When I learn how this town works, he'll ride in with ten men, and do what you'd like to do.
You're still talkin' about the bank?
When you write to Teeler, tell him I got here first. And I'm not just talkin' about the bank!
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In Ride A Crooked Trail a young fugitive Audie Murphy is forced to assume the identity of a famous US Marshal when he's seen with a broken badge that this marshal was known to wear. The marshal was killed on the trail, but Murphy had no hand in that.
This film is a treat for fans of Walter Matthau who plays a Roy Bean like judge who enforces his decisions with a shotgun that he wields to deadly effect. Being fast on the draw does nobody any good with Matthau having it out and ready to splatter an entire saloon full of outlaws.
But Murphy goes along as it fits into his plans to rob the town bank at an opportune moment. Gia Scala an entertainer from New Orleans and her outlaw boyfriend Henry Silva may spoil things. But Murphy has plans for both of them.
This is a decent enough Audie Murphy western, but Walter Matthau as the judge really makes this one special. Matthau did all kinds of roles before he became a star after the Oscar he received for The Fortune Cookie, some serious, some comic, some good guys, some bad. Here like Roy Bean he's the symbol for law and order in his part of the frontier, but like Roy Bean he makes it up as he goes along.
Audie's fans will like Ride A Crooked Trail, but for fans of Walter Matthau here's a chance to discover one of his more neglected performances.
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