Face of a Fugitive

1959

Drama / Western

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 31%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 771

fugitive falsely accused

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Director

Top cast

James Coburn as Purdy
Myrna Fahey as Janet Hawthorne
Fred MacMurray as Jim Larsen aka Ray Kincaid
Dorothy Green as Ellen Bailey

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 6 / 10

You look very different with a gun.

Jim Larson (soon to be Ray Kincaid) is a thief, during his train transfer to prison his younger brother enacts an escape plan. The US Marshall who was holding him is killed in the commotion, while Jim's brother is fatally wounded. Making his way into a nearby town, Larson acquires a gun and a horse but is unable to leave the town as the sheriff has quarantined it till a delivery of wanted posters arrive, these of course will show the face of the wanted man, that man is of course Jim Larson. Whilst marking his time, Larson gets embroiled in a war between the sheriff and a tough rancher, Reed Williams, finding himself strangely on the good side of the law.

Fred MacMurray is not a name that instantly springs to mind when the talk turns to the Western genre, which is surprising, because although he hardly dominates in the genre pieces he did, he was more than capable of carrying a role in a few of the Westerns he starred in. Such is the case here as Jim Larson, thankfully putting a bit of gritty honesty into the picture and steering it safely to its intriguing conclusion. Face of a Fugitive is a very accomplished piece, not a film to linger long in the memory, but it's thematic redemptive heart is most assuredly of major interest, with the finale excellently fulfilling the shoot out fan's needs. James Coburn turns up in one of his first major roles and hints at what was to come later in his career, and a thumbs up for Alan Baxter who revels in bad guy duties as Reed Williams.

Tight and hugely enjoyable, Face of a Fugitive is one to catch if you are a Western genre fan. 6.5/10

Reviewed by planktonrules 8 / 10

Much better than I would have suspected.

While fans of "My Three Sons" and the Flubber films might not believe it, Fred MacMurray was the star of a wide variety of films up until the 1960s--romances, comedies, Film Noir and even Westerns. So I assume that an awful lot of people would be surprised to see a tough-as-nails version of Fred in FACE OF A FUGITIVE.

The film begins with Fred being under arrest for bank robbery. However, he is in the process of escaping when his brother intervenes and shoots the deputy. Both the deputy and brother are killed in the process and Fred is assumed to be the guilty party--which he is not. So now he's not just on the run for robbery but murder.

When he arrives in a far off town, no one there knows his identity. However, they have heard about the murder and are on the lookout for Fred. But, at least for a couple days, they don't have wanted posters, so they have no idea what he looks like. Unfortunately for Fred, he can't leave town because deputies have the roads out of town covered--in case this killer tries coming in or out of the city. So, he's stuck, at least for now, and begins to make friends in the town--particularly with a pretty lady as well as the sheriff.

Overall, it is an exceptional western--even with "Steve Douglas" in the lead. I particularly like how it ended--it was exciting yet a bit vague--which I enjoyed. Good acting and a good script--this one is a keeper.

Reviewed by hoodcsa 7 / 10

A quiet gem

Fred MacMurray really stands out in this largely unknown western. MacMurray's character is on the run, but gets tangled up in the deadly affairs of a small town. The love story, which could have been nothing more than a routine plot device, actually works on a very fundamental level. MacMurray is top notch as the film's anti-hero. The rest of the cast is not as good, particularly a wooden Lin McCarthy as the embattled sheriff. Director Paul Wendkos delivers a crisply directed film. A lot of little things which could have been done routinely or sloppily are filmed with gusto and precision. The end-of-the-movie shootout is particularly energetic. Face of a Fugitive is not a great western, but it's very entertaining and should be seen by genre fans.

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