Written and directed by Sam Fuller. 1949.
"If a story doesn't give you a hard-on in the first couple of scenes," Sam Fuller said, "throw it in the goddamn garbage." Here's a story that does that, figuratively speaking (though I imagine I'm meant to feel more than that, somehow, when John Ireland washes Reed Hadley's back). Let's say this: I genuinely care about the coward Robert Ford, and I could give a damn about John Kelley the magnanimous marshal --reactions I know the director, in his slap-dash wisdom, hopes of me. Sam Fuller famously fired a Colt .45 into the air to signal the first shot of this, his first movie. Number one with a bullet, you might say. I'm not sure, though, it's all about a girl. Ford's dying confession: "I loved him."