A card-sharp caught palming an ace is lynched by six of the seven men he was playing poker with (Martin protests in vain); and panic spreads through the small Colorado town as the lynchers begin to die one by one, killed in gruesome parodies of the hanging. Hathaway directs this Western Ten Little Indians with a sort of weary authority, alternating patches of boredom with fresh, striking detail. What chiefly keeps it afloat is the excellent cast, headed by Martin as the gambler who turns Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery, and Mitchum - in a variation on his performance in Night of the Hunter - as the mysterious hellfire preacher who rides into town with a secret and a faster draw than anyone else.
5 Card Stud
Cast and crew