Rio Conchos is a big, tough, action-packed slam-bang western with as tough a set of characters as ever rode the sage. It is Old West adventure at its best.

Rio Conchos is a big, tough, action-packed slam-bang western with as tough a set of characters as ever rode the sage. It is Old West adventure at its best.

Producer David Weisbart has woven fanciful movement along with lush settings via on-the-spot color lensing in Arizona. To this, Gordon Douglas has added his own version of what a lusty western should be in the direction, getting the most from a batch of colorful characters. Music score by Jerry Goldsmith is a particularly valuable asset in striking a fast mood from the opening scene.

Script by Joseph Landon and Clair Huffaker, adapted from latter’s novel, limns the quest of four men for 2,000 stolen repeating rifles that a group of former Confederate soldiers have been running to the Apaches. Quartet is composed of Stuart Whitman, a cavalry captain, who heads the party; Richard Boone, an ex-reb who hates Apaches; Tony Franciosa, a Mexican gigolo-type killer whom the army was about to hang; and Jim Brown, a cavalry corporal. Their destination is the camp of a demented Confederate gun-runner (Edmond O’Brien) who wants vengeance on the North for the South’s defeat.

Whitman acquits himself excellently in his tough role but interest principally lies in characters played by Boone and Franciosa, both killers and a director’s dream. Brown, too, handles himself well, and Vito Scotti, as a laughing bandit, registers particularly in his brief menacing role before being killed.

Rio Conchos

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Gordon Douglas; Producer David Weisbart; Screenplay Joseph Landon, Clair Huffaker; Camera Joe MacDonald; Editor Joseph Silver; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Jack Martin Smith, William Creber

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Richard Boone Stuart Whitman Anthony Franciosa Jim Brown Wende Wagner Edmond O'Brien
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