Decision at Sundown (1957)

Decision at Sundown (1957), directed by Budd Boetticher.

Two cowpokes ride into town hoping to kill a man on his wedding day.

This is the weakest Boetticher/Scott western I've seen so far, having a cheap 1950s look with the standard town, costumes and character actors. The decade was hard on the genre: westerns were so popular that it was possible to crank them out more or less automatically and the look suffered.

On the other hand, this is the first time in these stories the Randolph Scott character has been clearly in the wrong, which makes it more interesting. His wife committed suicide, but that's no reason to take it out on just one of the many men she was with. He's hot headed and unreasonable and shows no talent for actually achieving his goal. He's drunk and belligerent even in the final scene.

The flawed nature of his character has potential, but in the end he's just not that interesting. Plus we get some preachiness about a corrupt town recovering its self respect.

The score is the generic western action music typical of the series. 77m long.