Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)
There is nothing quite like hearing a good Dan Duryea laugh or cackle if you prefer. In this Audie Murphy western we get plenty of Duryea playing just the type of character that he was so good at. An outlaw who takes a shine to someone on the right side of the law. In this case it’s Audie who is a deputy trying to find the men responsible for murdering his father and brother which leads him to Duryea in his search for justice. Duryea may not have done it but he can point Audie to the killers if he so chooses.
For our leading lady we have Susan Cabot in the second of 3 films she would make with Audie. Western regulars including Denver Pyle, Russell Johnson and the ever popular Jack Elam round out the cast. Directing this 81 minute oater is Jesse Hibbs who also directed Audie in his own life story To Hell and Back in 1955. The strength of this well done western tale comes in the relationship between Duryea’s good/bad guy and tenderfoot Audie which recalls to mind the admiration of Glenn Ford’s outlaw to Van Heflin’s farmer in 3:10 to Yuma. Murphy and Duryea would make 3 western together including Night Passage which had James Stewart added to the cast that also included Jack Elam again. This film is one of the many westerns from Universal International and was made pretty much at the height of Audie’s popularity.
As for action there is some great bare back riding by Audie in a high speed chase and a great shootout at the conclusion where Duryea finally picks sides and the shootout commences. Technically a “B” western, this is one of those that holds up well due to the script giving us some good characterization along with the action and casting Duryea alongside Murphy worked out very well. If you are a western fan check it out and if not than maybe you should be because there is so much to like.