It’s easy to like Audie Murphy’s later Westerns. He was, almost single-handed, carrying 50s Westerns into the 60s after most cowboy stars had retired or defected to TV. (Murphy had tried television, too, with Whispering Smith.) And he was working on these later films with the likes of William Witney, R.G. Springsteen and Lesley Selander, directors responsible for not only a lot of good pictures, but for the genre as we know it.
Apache Rifles (1964) — an action-filled story of an Indian-hating cavalry officer who has a change of heart when he meets a half-breed missionary — was making the rounds about the same time A Fistful Of Dollars was in production in Italy and Spain. The times they were a-changin’. And pictures like Apache Rifles would soon be almost extinct — short, tough (American) Westerns created by seasoned professionals with utmost efficiently.
Utmost efficiency indeed. One of…
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