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GARY LOCKWOOD IN 'FIRECREEK' STARRING JAMES STEWART

The same year he'd battle a computer in outer space, Gary Lockwood was grounded in FIRECREEK Year: 1968
With biker movies all the rampaging counter-culture rage, lower budgeted Westerns during the 1960's and 1970's became far more dark, violent, pulpy and contained, and yet, some still followed the old John Ford giant landscape aesthetic — in full background display for FIRECREEK where a gang of subtle yet vicious marauding riders ride into a small town that's literally a main street, and hardly even that...

Where James Stewart plays a humble outskirts-farmer/passive substitute sheriff in this titular locale "taken over" in a passive-aggressive fashion, where much of the suspense relies more on implied threat than bloodshed... which does occur at the climax: a worthy wait after a few long scenes where the good guys ponder their lives in existential "is this all there is?" dialogue (one involving Dean Jagger describing the purgatory "town full of losers").
Brooke Bundy, James Best, Morgan Woodward, Gary Lockwood, Jack Elam and Henry Fonda in Firecreek
And it's Gary Lockwood as the most randy of this wild bunch (initially almost raping ingenue Brooke Bundy, daughter of tough single mom Louise Latham, midwife to Stewart's pregnant wife, Jacqueline Scott): He steals the show by holding back the most formidable strength, building up before our eyes with nail-biting, religion-loathing menace...

Then there's Stewart's real life friend Henry Fonda, the same year he played the seething head honcho in Sergio Leone's epic ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and in charge here too, kind of, yet with a sharper, more fleshed-out performance, as he, like the audience, remains poised for an outcome he has no control over...
James Dean doppelganger Robert Porter and James Stewart in FIRECREEK Rates: ****
Holed-up and healing from a semi-recent gunshot wound (of enigmatic origin) in a B&B with Swedish beauty Inger Stevens (partaking in their own philosophical discussions), on the outside the veteran counterpart Stewart must protect his young sons and especially a vulnerable village idiot in James Dean-lookalike Robert Porter, who, even more than the other proverbial sheep/townspeople, hasn't got a prayer to Fonda's minions, left to their own rowdy devices...

All the hopeful strength resides in the rather hopeless Stewart, managing a fine performance without having to carry the entire show — an ensemble for the most part. But the most fun's anticipating the bad guys, also including instigating rascal Jack Elam, slowburn Morgan Woodward and wild-card bumpkin James Best (albeit annoyingly foreshadowing his DUKES OF HAZZARD "kew kew kew" guffaw). Basically, FIRECREEK is a lit fuse, burning around a corner, unseen and unsure of just how much remains to sizzle before the big inevitable BOOM!
Gary Lockwood, Morgan Woodward, James Best, Jack Elam and Henry Fonda open FIRECREEK
Jack Elam and Morgan Woodward in FIRECREEK
Gary Lockwood in FIRECREEK
Robert Porter in FIRECREEK
Robert Porter in FIRECREEK
James Stewart in FIRECREEK
"Ain't nothin' like a dollar change a female's way of thinkin'." Brooke Bundy, Firecreek
Brooke Bundy in FIRECREEK
Henry Fonda and Inger Stevens in FIRECREEK
Gary Lockwood in FIRECREEK
Morgan Woodward, James Best, Jack Elam and Gary Lockwood in FIRECREEK
Gary Lockwood, James Best, Morgan Woodward, Jack Elam and Henry Fonda in Firecreek
The same year he battled a computer in outer space, Gary Lockwood grounded himself as a villain in FIRECREEK
Gary Lockwood in FIRECREEK
Gary Lockwood, Jack Elam and Morgan Woodward in FIRECREEK
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