FORT DOBBS is a recipe western cranked out by Warner’s in 1958 to capitalize on Clint Walker’s fame from years of TV six-gunning as Cheyenne. Clint plays a Strong & Silent named ‘Gar’ (try leaving a cowpie in this guy’s chaw-pouch).
His six-six frame fills the screen with properly authoritative heroic deportment. Lots of plot holes and script foolishness, as incidents and behaviors are arranged strictly for convenience, but little cowpokes of all ages should still appreciate all those neato Warner Bros. gunshot sounds as they empty one pony after another, while the thumping music score from the inexhaustible Max Steiner tom-toms home the message that if anyone can get those Winchesters through to Dobbs, it’s Our Guy Gar.
The black & white lensing from William Clothier is sharp, action sequences are exciting and Brian Keith has fun being a no-good polecat of the smiling-gun-runner-variety. Virginia Mayo is the films distressed damsel who not only sheds her clothes for the mid-trek bathe-in-river scene but dumps the Southern accent she started with earlier on. Richard Eyer is her spunky son.
Fanciers of western garb take note of Walker’s coat: mark it Cool. This little flick was enough of a matinee/double bill success—with earnings of $2,700,000 putting it #81 for the year— that the studio upped the budget and added color for the Big Man’s next vehicle, also directed by Gordon Douglas, the durable Yellowstone Kelly. 93 minutes of nostalgia for genre fans.