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Film / Seven Ways from Sundown

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Seven Ways from Sundown is a 1960 American Western film directed by Harry Keller and starring Audie Murphy and Barry Sullivan.

Seven Jones (Murphy), is a young Texas Ranger on his first assignment, assigned to bring in the outlaw Jim Flood (Sullivan) well known for his flashy lifestyle. Despite his inexperience Seven manages to capture the outlaw, but finds his efforts to bring his prisoner to jail complicated by people who for various reasons are out to kill him, and other people who consider Flood to be a hero and want to rescue him.

Seven Ways from Sundown contains examples of:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: When Seven is first given a revolver, Henessey tells him to aim at a gong hanging on a tree. His first shot hits the gong by ricocheting off a rock, and Henessey comments "That's doin' it the hard way". Every other shot misses not only the gong, but the the tree.
  • Affably Evil: Flood is extremely charming, to the point that an entire town is willing to turn out in an attempt to save him. He strikes up an easy friendship with Seven after he is captured.
  • Bounty Hunter: A pair of bounty hunters attempt to steal Flood out of Seven's custody in order to claim the bounty for themselves.
  • Cutlery Escape Aid: In the cabin, Seven snaps the tip off Flood's knife so he can't use it to escape.
  • Family Theme Naming: Seven's full name is Seven Ways From Sundown Jones. He has brothers named One For The Money, Two For the Show, etc.
  • Hard Head: When Flood tries to escape, he punches Seven in the head and knocks him out, only for Seven to wake a minute or so later and clock Flood with a lump of wood. When Flood wakes up, he compliments Seven; saying the last man he hit like that was out for three hours.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Seven is a remarkable shot with a rifle, but Flood is truly extraordinary. In the opening scene, he kills someone with a single shot, despite firing with a handgun, behind him, from the back of a galloping horse, from 20 metres or more away, in the dark.
  • Injun Country: Seven and Flood are attacked by Apaches after they stray on to Apache sacred lands.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: During the trip back to Texas, Flood manages to trick Seven and grab his six-gun, only to discover that Seven had anticipated this and unloaded the gun.
  • New Meat: Seven Jones is a still wet behind the ears rookie who arrives in Buckley to take up his first posting as a Texas Ranger. He is inexperienced and smaller than all of the other Rangers, and has never handled a six shooter. Then he and the unit's Sergeant Rock are sent out to bring the territory's most infamous outlaw, by themselves...
  • One Riot, One Ranger: The advertising for the film bills Texas Ranger Seven as a "One-man posse!", and outlaw Joe Flood as a "one-man riot!". This is a pretty accurate summation of the film.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Flood hides his stolen gun inside his shirt. As he and Seven ride into Buckley, he transfers the pistol to the waistband of his trousers in preparation for his escape.
  • Protagonist Title. Seven's full name is Seven Ways From Sundown Jones.
  • Sergeant Rock: Henessey is a grizzled old sergeant of the Texas Rangers who takes the rookie Seven under his wing and does his best to teach him, guide him and keep him alive.
  • Sesquipedalian Smith: Seven's full names is 'Seven Ways From Sundown' Jones.
  • Suicide by Cop: At the end of the film, Flood is horrified when he learns that his reckless shooting while escaping had nearly killed Seven's girlfriend Joy. Knowing that to get away, he will have to kill Seven—who he genuinely likes—Flood slows his draw, allowing Seven to draw first and shoot him.
  • Tar and Feathers: The townsfolk of Beeker's Crossing decided to tar and feather Seven when he rides into town (on some extremely spurious logic), but are dissuaded when Seven draws his rifle.
  • *Twang* Hello: In the cabin, Flood makes a point by throwing a poker point-first into the post beside Seven's head.
  • Uriah Gambit: Lt. Herley sends out Sgt. Henessey and New Meat Seven Jones on their own to bring in Joe Flood, the most dangerous outlaw in the territory. Herly does this because he hopes Flood will kill the pair of them, thus allowing Herly to keep secret the fact that it was his cowardice that led to the death of Seven's brother at Flood's hands.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Flood thinks Seven's bullet is probably going to kill him just before he passes out. Seven removes the bullet while Flood is unconscious so he can bring Flood back alive.
  • You Are Number 6: Seven Jones. He says his father wasn't much on naming and just called his kids One, Two, etc. Their mother added extra words so they would have 'full' names. Seven's full name is Seven Ways From Sundown Jones.