The Man Behind the Gun (1953)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  31 January 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 341 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 9 critic

An undercover government agent battles insurrectionists whose want Southern California to secede and become a slave state.


(as Felix Feist)


(screenplay), (story)
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Cast overview:
Major Ransome Callicut
Patrice Wymore ...
Lora Roberts
Dick Wesson ...
Sgt. 'Monk' Walker
Capt. Roy Giles
Lina Romay ...
Chona Degnon
Sen. Mark Sheldon
Morris Ankrum ...
Bram Creegan
Katherine Warren ...
Phoebe Sheldon (as Katharine Warren)
Cpl. Olaf Swenson
Vic Sutro (as Tony Caruso)
'Kansas' Collins
Robert Cabal ...


Posing as a schoolteacher, undercover government agent Ransome Callicut arrives in 1850's California to gather intelligence about an insurrectionist plot to have the southern part of the state secede to become a slave state. When he discovers a hidden cache of weapons, he reveals his true identity and assumes command of the local army post. Aided by sidekicks Monk Walker and Olaf Swenson he battles political assassination and other intrigues to unmask the ringleader of the plot and keep the Golden State in the Union. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Easy-Going Gent with Deadly Guns...and a Reputation to Match!




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 January 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man with a Gun  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is set in 1850s. Most, if not all, of the firearms employed in the film post-date the American Civil War (1861-1865). Examples include Colt Single-Action Army revolvers and various lever-action rifles that first appear in the 1870s. See more »


Sgt. 'Monk' Walker: [In disguise as a pioneer woman] If I die like this, don't bury me. Just perfume the body.
Cpl. Olaf Swenson: You'll do! At a distance you look just like a woman.
Sgt. 'Monk' Walker: Anybody who don't keep that distance gets surprised!
See more »


Features Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) See more »


Some Sunday Morning
Music by M.K. Jerome and Ray Heindorf
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
See more »

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User Reviews

Mundane handling of lively elements makes this Randolph Scott western dull going.
27 October 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

All the things that made the Scott movies the most agreeable matine fare are present - an opening shoot out in foggy San Francisco streets, a stage hold up, historical plotting about stealing the L.A. water supply (well before CHINATOWN), false identity, opening an empty grave and hard riding and shoot outs in the great out of doors. On top of that it's delivered in Technicolor by some of Warners' most assured technicians, complete with stock shots from the Flynn movies and snatches of earlier Warner scores.

The reason it's so mechanical must be the routine direction of Felix Feist who fades away as Scott takes on sure hands Andre de Toth and Budd Boetticher as directors. The scene with Lina Ronay against the studio sky is particularly lack lustre. Randy grins his way through events and is doubled in the final river punch out while villain Roy Roberts does his own stunts - like I mean - really!

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