Released – August, 1956
Directed By – Budd Boetticher
Produced By – Batjac Productions
Distributed By – Warner Brothers
Description – During a rainstorm, Ben Stride enters a cave for shelter and finds two men already inside for the same reason. He asks them if he can join them by their fire and tells them he is from Silver Springs.
This information gives the two men some cause for concern as their conversation notes a recent robbery and murder in the town. Their suspicion of Stride grows as they continue to speak, and when they finally realize who he is… it’s too late. Stride kills them both.
Ben Stride is an ex-sheriff and he is tracking the seven men responsible for holding up a Wells Fargo office and killing an employee… his wife. Ben had lost his job and the pain of her murder is multiplied by the necessity of his wife taking a job at the office due to his actions.
Ben’s pain and guilt have led him on a mission of vengeance and murder.
His tracking leads him through the Arizona wilderness where he comes across a wagon stuck in the mud. Using the two horses he took from the men he killed in the cave, Stride helps free the wagon.
The wagon’s owners, John and Annie Greer, are on their way from Kansas City to California where they hope to find work. Their next stop is a border town called Flora Vista and they ask Stride if he would ride along with them. Flora Vista is a destination where the men Stride is hunting may have passed through, so he agrees to travel with the Greer’s.
Along the way, Annie seems to become increasingly attracted to Ben. During the trip, they are stopped by an Army patrol whose commanding officer suggests that they go back as Apache have been spotted in the area and they are not safe.
They choose to continue on and reach a stagecoach relay station where they meet Bill Masters and Clete, two past enemies of Stride. They all spend the night together at the station and Masters tells the Greer’s about the robbery and killing of Stride’s wife. He also tells them that Stride is hunting the men responsible and plans on killing them all.
Master’s has his own intentions, and plans to follow Stride and take the $20,000 from the robbery for himself, killing Stride if he has to. Master’s is not the only one with a secret, as John Greer is not the innocent traveler he seems to be.
There will be trouble with the Apache, a double-cross, an ambush, and a final showdown that will change the lives of everyone. The cost of vengeance is blood!
NOTABLE: 7 Men From Now was produced by John Wayne’s Batjac Productions. Wayne had intended to star in the film himself, but was locked into the filming of The Searchers. It was Wayne who suggested Randolph Scott for the lead role.
Randolph Scott insisted on Budd Boetticher as the director, and this film was the first of their seven-film collaboration.
Gail Russell had not worked on a film for five years due to her problems with stage-fright-induced alcoholism. However, John Wayne wanted her for the picture having worked with Russell before in Angel and the Badman, and Wake of the Red Witch.
Randolph Scott had stated that 7 Men From Now saved his career.
Personal Note: Randolph Scott was one of the most natural actor’s to ever play a western role. A personal favorite, as is 7 Men From Now. His western’s directed by Budd Boetticher are some of the best western’s ever made.