Four Guns to the Border – George Nader’s Leading Role with Universal Pictures

George Nader first sprang to the attention of Hollywood at large with his starring role in the questionable sci-fi movie, Robot Monster. A low budget film that was critically panned, Robot Monster was a box office success. That attracted the attention of Universal Pictures, who gave Nader a lucrative contract.

That contract with one of Hollywood’s biggest studios gave the talented actor the chance to appear in a number of bigger and better pictures. One of his first starring roles came in the fondly remembered western, Four Guns to the Border.

Cast & Crew

Nader was billed in Four Guns to the Border alongside Rory Calhoun, Colleen Miller, Walter Brennan, Nina Foch and John McIntire. That represented an excellent combination of leading men, leading ladies and talented character actors.

The movie was based on an original story by Louis L’Amour and was directed by Richard Carlson. He was better known at the time as a supporting actor, and Four Guns to the Border was only his second film in the director’s chair.

The movie is generally considered to be a good example of a western from the time. The direction and writing perhaps let it down a little, but the cast performances were second to none. Calhoun, Nader and Miller particularly excelled in leading roles. Foch, meanwhile, impressed in an almost unprecedented second strong female role.

Plot

The rip-roaring western revolves around a gang of four bank robbers in the Old West, who plan a robbery in a town close to the Mexican border. The four comprise leader Cully (Calhoun), Bronco (Nader), Dutch (McIntire) and Yaqui (Jay Silverheels) and have singled out a bank in Cully’s old home town as a target.

On their way to the robbery, the gang come across Simon Bhumer (Brennan) – an old outlaw looking to settle down – and his daughter Lolly (Miller). Sparks fly between Cully and Lolly, but Simon breaks it up and he and his daughter leave the gang to their robbery.

Cully distracts the town’s sheriff – who happens to be an old love rival – while the rest of the gang successfully collect their booty. Pursued by a posse, the ‘four guns’ head toward the border only to discover that Simon and Lolly have been besieged by Apaches nearby.

Cully and Dutch are the first to abandon the escape and head to their friends’ aid. They’re soon followed by the other two members of the gang and a pitched battle with the Apaches ensues. In the course of the fighting, Yaqui, Dutch and Bronco are killed, whilst Cully is gravely wounded.

The town sheriff and his posse arrive just in time to chase off the Apaches and seemingly save Simon, Lolly and Cully. In spite of his injury, Cully won’t surrender to the sheriff and instead calls him out for a gunfight. At the last minute, however, Lolly’s urgings get through to Cully and pursued him to give himself up rather than let the sheriff take him in.