Broderick Crawford and John Derek are re-teamed for a third time following All The King's Men (1949) and Scandal Sheet (1952) -- two dark, modern dramas -- for an under-the-radar western photographed by noir-DP Burnett Guffey. Crawford plays Frazier, the dissipated sheriff of a town he once ruled proudly. Derek plays Jed, the dominated step-son of Sampson Drune (Charles Bickford), who forms a posse to hunt down a pair of brothers that stole from him. Many of the townsfolk feel the brothers were justly entitled to the money, but Drune is out for revenge. The twists and turns in this story unfold in flashback. Newly remastered.
After his Oscar win for ALL THE KING'S MEN, Broderick Crawford found himself working out his Columbia contract in a string of rapidly deteriorating films. THE LAST POSSE was a middling western, the sort that the studio sent out as bottom-of-bill attractions for their prestige pictures. The posse of the title, headed by sheriff Crawford, is a group of ostensibly honest townsfolk. When they catch up with the desperadoes who robbed a wealthy cattle baron, some of the posse members are overcome by greed and plot to keep the stolen loot for themselves. Once Crawford is wounded in a shootout, avarice prevails. There are no real winners at the end, as the remaining posse members straggle back to town, their heads hung in shame.
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