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The Gunfighter (1950)

Not Rated | | Western | 21 August 1950 (Sweden)
Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

William Bowers (screenplay), William Sellers (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Jimmy Ringo
Helen Westcott ... Peggy Walsh
Millard Mitchell ... Marshal Mark Strett
Jean Parker ... Molly
Karl Malden ... Mac
Skip Homeier ... Hunt Bromley
Anthony Ross ... Deputy Charlie Norris
Verna Felton ... Mrs. August Pennyfeather
Ellen Corby ... Mrs. Devlin
Richard Jaeckel ... Eddie
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Storyline

A reformed Gunfighter Jimmy Ringo is on his way to a sleepy town in the hope of a reunion with his estranged sweetheart and their young son who he has never seen. On arrival, a chance meeting with some old friends including the town's Marshal gives the repentant Jimmy some respite. But as always Jimmy's reputation has already cast its shadow, this time in the form of three vengeful cowboys hot on his trail and a local gunslinger hoping to use Jimmy to make a name for himself. With a showdown looming, the town is soon in a frenzy as news of Jimmy's arrival spreads. His movements are restricted to the saloon while a secret meeting with his son can be arranged giving him ideas of a long term reunion with his family far removed from his wild past. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His only friend was his gun... His only refuge - a woman's heart! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1950 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiebre de sangre See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original title was The Big Gun. See more »

Goofs

When Ringo and Molly are standing and speaking alone in the Saloon, the mic and part of the boom are visible in the mirror over the bar. See more »

Quotes

Hunt Bromley: Looks like everybody's drawing behind your back these days.
Deputy Charlie Norris: All the smart ones.
See more »


Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Guns N' Roses
17 July 2006 | by RJC-99See all my reviews

Meet the western, deglamorized: gunslinging makes you feel guilty, your ex is a prudish school teacher too hung up on your trail of corpses to see you, the town where you've decamped is filled with half-witted bums, puritans, celebrity-gazers and a most unlikely marshal, and somewhere on your trail are three brothers of the dead smart ass who drew on you in the last town. Jesus, do you need a whiskey.

No ordinary genre film, "The Gunfighter" (1950) is both a hugely satisfying entertainment and a conventional studio film with surprising depths. The surprise comes from the nature of the western in the mid-century where, with few exceptions, the black-and-white morality plays are as plain as the gunfire. Not so here, where we get the treat of seeing Gregory Peck play an antihero who has stepped far outside of conventional morality and now wants readmission, even though the bloodstains won't wash out. Welcome to Ambiguiety Gulch.

It's tempting to say that "Gunfighter" looks forward to the spaghetti western, especially in its themes of alienation and social revulsion. Frankly, though, it feels less like a western and more like a film noir. The feeling of claustrophobia is always near, whether in Peck's fear of another violent summons or in subplots involving the closeted desires of various townspeople to kill him (one gritty sequence in a boarding room is more unsettling than anything in Hawks or Ford). Surfaces are untrustworthy, motivations questionable, psychological derangement hovers in the wings, the "law" is both more and less than it appears, and as characters make startling pacts with their bloody pasts you can almost sense the triumphalism of the post-war years turning to anxiety and dread.


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