GenreWestern Running time1h 7m ScreenplayBudd Boetticher CountryUnited States
Release date1969 (1969) Initial releaseJune 2, 1982 (New York City) CastRichard Lapp (Cass Bunning), Anne Randall (Nellie Winters), Audie Murphy (Jesse James), Victor Jory (Judge Roy Bean), Beatrice Kay (Mamie), Robert Random (Billy Pimple (as Bob Random)) Similar moviesAudie Murphy appears in A Time for Dying and The Cimarron Kid
A Time for Dying is a Western film starring Audie Murphy as Jesse James. This was Murphy's last movie, as well as the final dramatic feature for director Budd Boetticher.
Cass Bunning (Richard Lapp), a farm boy with a talent for shooting, meets up with Nellie (Anne Randall), a naive woman from the East, who has been lured West by the promise of a waitressing job which turns out to be in a brothel. Cass helps Nellie escape and two are forced into marriage with each other by Judge Roy Bean (Victor Jory). Cass decides to become a bounty hunter. He crosses with Jesse James (Audie Murphy) who, impressed by Cass' shooting, suggests he join his gang, but Cass wants to stay at his new job. Cass is killed in a shoot out with the outlaw Billy Pimple (Bob Random), and Neillie is forced into prostitution.
Richard Lapp as Cass Bunning
Anne Randall as Nellie
Audie Murphy as Jesse James
Victor Jory as Judge Roy Bean
Beatrice Kay as Mamie
Bob Random as Billy Pimple
Peter Brocco as Ed
Burt Mustin as Seth
Audie Murphy's career was in a bad state and he had not made a film in 1968, the first year that happened since he started starring in films. Boetticher, who directed Murphy on The Cimarron Kid, was going through a similar slump. The two men formed their own company, Fipco, to make films. This was to be the first of several.
A Time for Dying was to originally star Peter Fonda as the kid. Shooting took place near Tucson in April and May 1969. Money was tight and by the time filming was completed the movie was several minutes shorter than scripted. Murphy spent the next year and a half trying to raise additional funds for completion and post-production.
Owing to legal problems, the film did not screen in New York until 1982.