Murphy's Young Gun
With the land wars rumbling on in Lincoln County, New Mexico Billy the Kid (Audie Murphy - 40 Guns to Apache Pass) finds himself getting involved when rancher Roger Jameson (Shepperd Strudwick) who gave Billy a chance ends up murdered and Billy vows to get revenge. It also leaves Billy in the employment of lawyer Alex Kane (Albert Dekker) who was Jameson's business partner and who spotting his naivety sets him up and in doing so forcing Billy to go on the run to the hills. But things become complicated for Billy as when Kanes young wife Irene (Gale Storm) arrives in town he falls for her.
I am a fan of Audie Murphy's movies but here is the truth, if you ignore that "The Kid from Texas" stars the fresh faced actor in an early role and all you have left is a typical revenge western. Even the fact that Murphy is playing a young William H. Bonney does nothing to make this old western anything more than just that, an old western.
Now some might say that is a bit harsh but the trouble is that there is no depth to this story. For the most it just ticks the boxes as Billy declares he will get revenge for the murder of a decent man who gave him a chance, forced to go on the run when he is set up by someone he trusts and of course there is the obligatory bit of romance as a 1950s western without a romantic interest would have felt incomplete. If more time had been given to building up the character of Billy, giving more history other than one scene where he tells Jameson that he killed a man and hasn't been home in a long time it would have felt different and more of a movie about Billy the Kid rather than just a revenge movie.
Of course the draw for "The Kid from Texas" is that it stars a fresh faced Audie Murphy early on in his movie career and I believe in his first leading role. Unfortunately the young Audie Murphy was still learning the ropes of acting and several times is less than convincing. The worst of this is that when we see Billy observing others Audie Murphy plays him as if he has got a bad smell under his nose which doesn't sit right. Aside from Murphy the rest of the cast deliver the typical sort of performances you will find in every 1950s western, other wise know as solid but forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "The Kid from Texas" whilst notable for being an early Audie Murphy movie is just a routine 1950's western which sees a young man looking for revenge. Even the fact that it is based on Billy the Kid does nothing to make it any more than just another western.