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Western films, from silent to today

From Hell to Texas (1958)

From Hell to Texas (1958) posterTod Lohman (Don Murray) is a cowpoke looking for his father, who headed West years earlier, leaving him and his mother behind.

But he’s forced on the run after a scuffle that leaves Shorty Boyd, son of a powerful rancher, dead.

Shorty’s dad, Hunter (R.G. Armstrong), thinks Lohman murdered Shorty. Tod insists Shorty fell on his own knife.

But Hunter sends his men out to bring Lohman in. And his determination grows when a second son (Otis) is trampled when Lohman spooks a herd bearing down on him.

And Lohman subsequentlywounds Boyd’s last and youngest son (played by Dennis Hopper) when young Tom Boyd tries to take matters into his own hands to prove himself to his father.

Lohman winds up getting a helping hand from another rancher named Amos Bradley (Chill Wills) and his oldest daughter, pretty Juanita (Diane Varsi) and from an Indian trader named Leffertfinger.

Review:

Better than average Western, with Murray as a deadly, but reluctant to kill cowboy whose promises his dying mother he’ll keep the Ten Commandments.

In one scene, he’s in a shootout with Hal Carmody, one of Boyd’s top men. Rather than kill him outright, Lohman fires at a rock precariously sitting way above Carmody, hoping to topple it down on the man.

Of course, as the film comes to a climax, Lohman eventually decides to stop running and face his accusers.

Meanwhile, R.G. Armstong’s Hunter Boyd — a man who has let nothing stand in his way to build a cattle empire — can’t understand why everyone seems so eager to help the young cowboy with the gentle spirit.

This marked the only Western for Diane Varsi, who had made a Academy Award nominated splash in her film debut, “Peyton Place,” a year earlier. She’d soon retreat from the bright lights of Hollywood.

Jay Flippen as Jake Leffertfinger and Don Murray as Tod Lohman in From Hell to Texas (1958)Directed by:
Henry Hathaway

Cast:
Don Murray … Tod Lohman
Diane Varsi … Juanita Bradley
Chill Wills … Amos Bradley
Dennis Hopper … Tom Boyd
R.G. Armstrong … Hunter Boyd
Jay Flippen … Jake Leffertfinger
John Larch … Hal Carmody
Margo … Mrs. Bradley
Ken Scott … Otis Boyd
Rodolfo Acosta … Bayliss
Salvador Baguez … Cardito
Harry Carey Jr. … Trueblood
Jerry Oddo … Morgan
Jose Torvay … Miguel

aka: The Hell-Bent Kid

Runtime: 100 min.

Memorable lines:

Hunter Boyd: to Tom Boyd after Lohman gets the better of him: “Instead of taking Miguel with you, you decided to play cat and mouse. And the mouse ate the cat.”

Jake Leffertfinger to Tod Lohman: “You sure do work hard at doing the wrong thing.”

Tod Lohman: “People don’t understand — killing sickens a man.”
Jack Leffertfinger: “A man’s got a right to convictions, I guess. The only thing is, they don’t help anybody, including himself, unless they fit the time and the place. Boy, this ain’t the time and the place.”

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