The Duel at Silver Creek is directed by Don Siegel and co-written by Gerald Drayson Adams and Joseph Hoffman. It stars Audie Murphy, Stephen McNally, Faith Domergue, Susan Cabot and Gerald Mohr. It's a Technicolor production with Irving Glassberg the cinematographer. The music is scored by Hans J. Salter (director Joseph Gershenson) and location for the shoot was spread over four California locations; Ranches Ray Corrigan, Janss Conejo, Iverson and at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.
A gang of crooks are murdering miners for their gold claims. Luke Cromwell (Murphy) loses his father to the gang and quickly reinvents himself as a gambling gunslinger known as The Silver Kid. Down in Silver City, Marshal Lightning Tyrone (McNally) is determined to bring to justice the claim jumping murderers. But he has a problem, his trigger finger is inoperative after he was shot, thus he can't let the bad guys know he is no longer "Lightning" on the trigger. After witnessing some of The Silver Kid's handy work, Tyrone hires him as a deputy to watch his back as he sets about weeding out the bad in Silver City. Luke is only too happy to help, he wants vengeance for his father's murder. But two ladies in town are to have a big impact on both of their lives, the question is if both men can finally achieve their goals without further loss of life.
Brisk,colourful and highly entertaining Western fare for the undemanding matinée crowd. Forget all hopes of depth and intricate characterisations and expect an action packed shoot em' up instead. Siegel would go on to much bigger things and leave a lasting mark in cinema, here he makes a standard screenplay ping with excitement whilst getting spirited performances out of the cast. One look at the character names gives you a clue to what sort of Western this is: The Silver Kid, Lightning Tyrone, Opal Lacy, Johnny Sombrero, Rat Face Blake, Pop Muzik, Tinhorn Burgess (Lee Marvin in his first credited big screen outing) & Jane Dusty Fargo. Wonderful. Throw in some lovely scenery, Domergue's explosive costumes and the nice pairing of McNally & Murphy, and it's a film that's hard to dislike. Hey! It even comes with a film noir like narration as well.
Don't dwell too long on the dialogue and simplicity of it all, just enjoy it for what it is. Good fun. 7/10