Rory Calhoun stars as the DOMINO KID (1957) in a solid, entertaining Western.
Since the end of his service in the Civil War, Cort Garand (Calhoun), aka the Domino Kid, has been searching for the five men who murdered his father. He's found four of them, but he doesn't know the identity of the fifth.
Hoping to get a fresh lead on the fifth man, Cort returns to his hometown and his sweetheart Barbara (Kristine Miller), who's hoping that Cort is ready to put vengeance behind him and settle down.
Businessman Wade Harrington (Andrew Duggan), who wants both Cort's land and his girl, quickly becomes a thorn in Cort's side.
This is a pleasing Western produced by Calhoun and Victor Orsatti for Columbia Pictures; other Rorvic Productions were FLIGHT TO HONG KONG (1956), THE HIRED GUN (1957), APACHE TERRITORY (1958), and Calhoun's TV series THE TEXAN (1958-60).
Although DOMINO KID was filmed at Iverson Ranch and doesn't have the fine Lone Pine location work of THE HIRED GUN, DOMINO KID is still a nice-looking movie, particularly the long shots of Cort's ranch. The filmmakers also conjure up some solid atmosphere on a limited budget, with effective use of guitar music and a fiery Mexican dance by cantina owner Yvette Duguay.
Calhoun is always the perfect Western hero, handsome and determined, with an intimidating presence when riled. For a Western fan like myself it doesn't get much better than spending 74 minutes watching a Rory Calhoun Western.
I was inspired to pull this film out of my "watch" stack in honor of Calhoun's leading lady, Kristine Miller, whose death was recently announced. My tribute to Miller is here.
DOMINO KID has a fine cast including Eugene Iglesias as Cort's best friend, Robert Burton as the kindly sheriff, James Griffith as one of the murderers, and Thomas Browne Henry as the town doctor; Henry was only on screen for roughly the last 30 seconds of the movie! Familiar Western faces such as Peter Whitney, Frank Sully, Roy Barcroft, Fred Graham, and Denver Pyle are also in the cast.
The movie was directed by Ray Nazarro. The black and white cinematography was by Irving Lippman.