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Fuller's first directorial effort made evident the great talent he possessed as a filmmaker. Ireland plays the man who guns down Jesse James (Hadley), but Fuller avoids the obvious route and concentrates on what compels Ireland to kill his onetime friend. Ireland has a childhood
sweetheart, Britton, whom he hopes to marry after he has carried out the shooting and received a pardon and reward money. But once the killing is over, Britton will have nothing to do with Ireland. Fuller uses effective close-ups in this stylish western, giving a fresh psychological twist to
familiar narrative ground.