Murphy's Undercover Law
Many people will tell you that "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" is for all sense and purpose a remake of "Last of the Badmen" although there is no mention of it at all, even having different writers. Now in some ways that is disappointing but then you have to ask yourself how many westerns are there which basically trade on the same story, characters and events anyway. And to be honest "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" is an enjoyable western, no means a great western but with Audie Murphy playing an undercover NDA agent it is worth watching.
The NDA have been on the trail of a gang of bank robbers who's M.O. is to first break a criminal out of jail, use him as the face of their robberies and then when the reward for him is high enough bring him in dead to claim it. And despite trying several times to plant someone in order to catch them they have had no success so they call upon ladies man Judd Tanner (Audie Murphy) to go undercover as a bank robber, get himself thrown in jail and then hopefully broken out to be part of the gang. It's a dangerous mission especially when Judd discovers that there is another member of the gang which no one knows about and no one knows who they are.
I have never seen "Last of the Badmen" but I have seen a few western which feature a government agent going undercover to try and break a criminal gang and they always remind me of James Bond but a western version. And to be honest "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" is no different especially when we get introduced to ladies man Judd Tanner who gets called back from leave for the dangerous mission. Beyond that well to be honest "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" plays out in quite a predictable manner as Judd gets boosted by the robbers to be their front man and as time passes not only does time start to run out as his reward goes up but we have the mystery of who the brains is behind the operations. There is a seriously annoying and pointless narration which tries to add an element of style to proceedings but as I said it is annoying.
But despite playing out in a semi predictable manner, with the exception of one death and who the brains are, "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" still entertains with a good cast. DeForest Kelley, Adam Williams and John Milford all work well to deliver menace as our band of badmen whilst Colleen Miller is eye catching as saloon owner Abbie Stevens who Judd flirts with. Talking of Judd we have Audie Murphy playing a role quite different to those which he made his name on with Judd being much calmer and more calculated than the young hotheads of his early career. Yet Murphy is out shone by Jan Merlin who plays fellow agent Nielson and does a terrific job of delivering tension through his icy stare.
What this all boils down to is that whilst technically not a remake "Gunfight at Comanche Creek" might as well be with a storyline reportedly similar to "Last of the Badmen". Never the less it is still an entertaining little western which fans of the genre should enjoy.