Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Jericho" Is Old-Fashioned Western -- Bang! Bang!

Cleveland Press October 6, 1967

They are plugging "Rough Night in Jericho" as the kind of western they used to make.

And I guess it is, if what is meant is one that is long on action with lots of gunplay and a couple of brutal fistfights, and one with a fairly simple plot.

The Jericho of the title is a western town run by a nasty (Dean Martin) who controls just about everything except the stage line run by the pretty widow Iady (Jean Simmons).

SHE HAS JUST INVITED an aging ex-marshall (John McIntire) and his ex-deputy (George Peppard) to help her run the line.

You can pretty well figure what will happen the rest of the way, although Peppard makes some fairly convincing speeches about being a smart gambler and not liking the odds.

But while "Jericho" is short on suspense it makes up for it in plenty of action and brisk direction that keep matters hanging together. Credit also should be given for a plot solution that at least makes a sensible gesture toward evening the odds.

PEPPARD, WHO HAS FREQUENTLY PLAYED a villain, is a convincing hero -- tough, laconic and stalwart. Miss Simmons is appealing and intelligent and the two of them have an amusing drunk scene.

Dean Martin, who generally acts as though he is playing himself even when a hero, is the villain in this. He still looks as though he is playing himself, but just showing the mean side of his disposition.

In "Jericho" he not only beats men, he slaps a woman around, too.

John McIntire is his usual dependable self and Slim Pickens is convincingly vicious as one of Martin's henchmen.