Five Guns West (1955)

Written by John Chard on March 8, 2017

The Dirty Five.

Five Guns West is directed by Roger Corman and written by R. Wright Campbell. It stars John Lund, Dorothy Malone, Mike Connors and Jonathan Haze. Filmed in Pathecolor with cinematography by Floyd Crosby and music by Buddy Bregman.

Desperate for men during the last days of the war between the States, the South found it necessary to offer pardons to outlaws to carry out special assignments. Strange dark figures rode under the flag of the Confederacy.

Well the central idea of the story formed the basis of better films to come further down the pipe, but outside of Malone's perky performance, there's not a great deal to sing about here. Corman was a master of the cheap production and he does well to keep this from total damnation, but excitement is rare, there's a lot of wood propping up the acting and the predictability of it all renders the finale a damp squib.

Its worth in the history of independent American cinema is at least notable, and once the film reaches the stagecoach station and Malone enters the fray; thus the ruffians have something to get in a pickle about, the pic just about holds interest. But come the end you realise it's the sort of Western that achieves the minimum it can to get released and is quite simply the first rung of the ladder for one Roger Corman. 4/10