Jeff Arnold’s West

The blog of a Western fan, for other Western fans

Border Shootout (Turner TV, 1990)





Border Shootout, also known as Law at Randado, was a TV Western of moderate interest because it was based on a story by Elmore Leonard, and was Glenn Ford’s last Western appearance.


It was directed and the screenplay was written by Chris McIntyre, the only Western he had done to date (he has since done another one).


The Law at Randado was an early Leonard novel (1954) but like most Leonard, it is spare, actiony and gripping. Being an EL tale, it is set in the Southwest.



It’s a coming-of-age story about a young man, Kirby Frye (a rather wooden Cody Glenn in the movie) who is appointed a deputy and battles the bad guys as much with brains as with guns. He is no quick-draw superhero, just a regular guy trying to do the right thing, and he often doesn’t manage.


UnClintish hero


In fact Glenn is the benign county sheriff who hires Kirby. It was a very small part for Ford and only listed in the ‘Rest of cast listed alphabetically’ section, below the line, as it were. He was 74 and rather obviously substituted by a stuntman on occasions, and even just walking about town does look a bit stiff. Still, it’s Glenn alright.


Glenn: his last bow


The villain is the spoilt son of a rich rancher, Phil Sundeen (Jeff Kaake). It’s funny how bad guys in Westerns often have –een names.


Bad guy Sundeen


Unfortunately, McIntyre tried to ‘improve’ the Leonard story. The additions and interpolations don’t do the movie any favors and the development of the plot is uneven to say the least.


The editing is also noticeably bad.


There’s the obligatory border town shoot-out at the end, when the hero finally comes good.


It’s the kind of movie you might idly watch if it happened to come on, but you wouldn’t marvel at it, and you wouldn’t be missing much if you skipped it either.


4 Responses

  1. Jeff, I’ve never got around to viewing BORDER SHOOTOUT(filmed 1989, released 1990) and Glenn Ford is an all-time favorite actor of mine. I’ll probably, eventually view it, but I would rather view JUBAL(filmed 1955, released 1956), or any other of his movies.

    I wish William Holden had lived longer, because Glenn Ford and he were going to join up and make another Western together. The title of the proposed movie was DIME NOVEL. Glenn Ford and William Holden were really good in Westerns.

    1. Hi Walter
      I agree about both Ford and Holden, great Western actors both. I hadn’t heard that about a possible last movie together. It would have been enjoyable!

  2. The only redeeming scene I this film is the fight sequence in the mess tent where stuntman/actor Bruce Barbour (as Pvt. Borchers) mistakenly gets tagged in the face by a rubber fireplace log wielded by Ford. You can clearly see Barbour’s upper row of teeth fly from his mouth…

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