For me, To Hell and Back holds somewhat of a #1 status as well. No, it's not my favorite Murphy movie (it's #2 for me), but it is my absolute favorite of his roles. Of course, since Audie Murphy is portraying Audie Murphy, and since Audie Murphy is one of my all-time favorite Americans, it's probably no surprise that it would be my favorite of his roles.
Coming in in the very-distant #2 position, with 13% of the vote, is No Name on the Bullet, followed by The Quiet American and Posse from Hell, each with 5% of the vote. (Funny, that only adds up to 99%.) Garnering zero votes in the blog readers' poll are Gunpoint and, my personal favorite, The Gun Runners, proving, once more, that I often march to the beat of my own drum when it comes to movies.
Thanks to all who voted. It was fun seeing everyone's take on Murphy movies.
For me, after a wonderful month, in which 92% of my viewing (and 100% of my reading) was Audie Murphy-related, here is how my top-10 list looks. All 10 films are 5-star "love its," 4-star "really like its," or very high on the 3-star "like it" list.
6. The Unforgiven (1960) This is Audie's second film with director John Huston, and while it's really a Burt Lancaster/Audrey Hepburn vehicle, with Murphy taking third billing, his acting is stellar. I think it's one of his best performances. This is one of the few films in which Mr. Murphy is not clean-shaven (always a hardship for me).
7. Posse from Hell (1961---reviewed HERE) After an outlaw gang robs a bank and kidnaps a young woman, newly-deputized Audie puts together a hodgepodge of a posse and sets out to track them down. Although warned that the gang is vicious and that he won't be able to apprehend them with such a small posse, he is determined. Little by little, the posse grows smaller, as men are either killed or desert. In the end, only two men remain.
8. The Wild and the Innocent (1959---reviewed HERE) Who would have ever imagined that Audie Murphy and Sandra Dee would make such a delightful pair. We could call this one Gidget Goes Western! Cute, fun, and refreshingly innocent!
9. Gunfight at Comanche Creek (1963---reviewed HERE) In this film, detective Audie goes undercover, posing as a man wanted for train robbery, in order to infiltrate a dangerous band of outlaws.
10. Bad Boy (1949---reviewed HERE) Since I can't decide if this or Battle at Bloody Beach gets the #10 position, I am including both. Bad Boy was Audie's first starring role, and it brought about his first 7-year contract with Universal. He is very believable as a delinquent youth.
Since time precluded the opportunity for me to review all the Murphy films I have watched, expect to see a bit more Audie Murphy in the coming months. There are also many more of Mr. Murphy's films on my "want to watch" list---including Destry and The Guns of Fort Petticoat, both of which were recommended by blog readers---but tracking them down has proven to be a bit of a challenge.
Some of the titles I am most longing to see are World in My Corner (I'm actually dying to see this, as it is a boxing drama, and I love those kinds of films), Bullet for a Badman, Six Black Horses, Hell Bent for Leather, Seven Ways from Sundown, and The Kid from Texas. Unfortunately, these films are not out on DVD in Region 1, and it seems that the only station which airs them is Encore Westerns...and that is not a part of my Dish package. Thus, I wait...and I wait...and I wait some more! As I track each film down, though, I'll be reviewing it, so Audie Murphy is still going to be a major player around here.
I hope you, my dear blog readers, have enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know Audie Murphy a bit more this past month. I hope you've added a few titles to your "must see" list and, more importantly, that you have discovered what a truly great man Mr. Murphy was!
NOTE: All photos obtained from the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Website (HERE)