Till the End of Night (1967) starring Stuart Whitman, Percy Herbert, Randy Boone, Jill Townsend, Suzanne Pleshette directed by Alvin Ganzer Movie Review

Till the End of Night (1967)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Suzanne Pleshette and Percy Herbert in Till the End of Night (1967)

It's MacGregor's Day

When Jim (Stuart Whitman) has to head to Topeka to give evidence at a trial he leaves his deputy, MacGregor (Percy Herbert) in charge of things, including hired gunman Luther Happ (Harry Dean Stanton) who Jim arrests after he tried to kill him. But Luther manages to escape and after going after Luther MacGregor not only ends up killing him in a shoot out but passing out from being shot. When he comes to MacGregor finds himself in a Texas cell where Sheriff Jack Hawkes (Clifton James) charges him for the murder of Deputy Happ. But prison is not going to hold MacGregor and whilst chained to Sarah Lou Burke (Suzanne Pleshette) goes on the run. When Jim hears that his deputy has had to go fugitive he rushes back to try and save him before Hawkes' bullets get him.

"Till the End of Night" is a curious episode of "Cimarron Strip" as it was only episode 10 of the series and yet it felt comfortable enough to dispense with the central character of Jim Crown for what feels like most of the movie and make Percy Herbert and his MacGregor character the focus. I am not entirely sure it was the right move as whilst watching "Till the End of Night" now as a stand alone movie it works fine as part of "Cimarron Strip" it is not exactly what you expected, instead you wanted Jim to be the focus and he isn't. But with MacGregor being such a larger than life and frankly loud personality it is kind of hard work despite allowing Herbert to show MacGregor was more than just a loud and heavy drinker.

The worst thing for me when it comes to "Till the End of Night" is that it feels like the script was written purely to keep Percy Herbert happy by giving him an episode. As such whilst we have this storyline which sees a connection between a man who tries to kill Jim and a Texas Sheriff who Jim has had a run in with it doesn't really feel like it is the movie's focus but just there for Percy Herbert to step out from Whitman's shadow.

What this all boils down to is that whilst still entertaining "Till the End of Night" just doesn't feel right and feels more like an episode written purely to give Percy Herbert more to do that he had been doing.