Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Gunfighter (1950)

Tired gunfighter (Gregory Peck) just wants to retire but every young upstart looking to make a name for himself won't leave him alone.

After taking out yet another kid, he heads out of town with the kid's brothers on his tail. Now in Cayenne, he meets up with his old buddy, now Marshal, and tries to look up his old flame who isn't too keen for the gunfighter lifestyle. While in town his celebrity status becomes the event of the day.

300+ movies and Gregory Peck #1. How did that happen? There are other Hollywood legends not yet covered, but this one is surprising. I have a list of names to cross off and hope to chop it down to size in the coming year.

Ok, back to the story. Sound familiar? Yea, it pops up now and again. Blazing Saddles, a Twilight Zone episode (I'm certain, but can't find it). It's something of a western stereotype, but this, I believe, is it's first incarnation.

More psychological in nature, it's a new direction for Westerns. Not really a romance nor action/adventure, although those elements are not absent, The Gunfighter is a pleasant, well made, somewhat predictable diversion. I recorded it on a complete lark off of TCM. It wasn't a box office success. Filmmakers, jokingly, blamed Peck's historically accurate but silly looking mustache. I thought it looked fine. AMRU 3.5.
"He don't look so tough to me.
Yeah, yeah. That's the way it always starts. He don't look so tough to somebody."

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