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The Man Behind the Gun (1953)

 -  Western  -  31 January 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 276 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 8 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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Title: The Man Behind the Gun (1953)

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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
Buckley Saloon Manager
Vic Sutro (as Tony Caruso)
Clancy Cooper ...
'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:

Show detailed on  »

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 »


Major Ransome Callicut: [as voiceover narrator] Los Angeles - thirty difficult miles from San Pedro. Here in the tropical sun it was hard to believe that the City of Angels had its share of unholy activities.
See more »


Features San Antonio (1945) 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

Middle of the Road Scott Western!
8 December 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Man Behind the Gun" is another of a series of 80 minute little westerns churned out by Randolph Scott during the 1950s. As with most of these films, there's plenty of action and a stellar supporting cast.

Major Rance Callicut (Scott) poses as a disgraced army officer who is sent to work undercover to foil secession threats which would take Southern California out of the Union. The time is the 1850s. On the stagecoach to Los Angeles he meets Lora Roberts (Patrice Wymore) who is on her way to LA to marry army Captain Roy Giles (Philip Carey). Also on board is bandit Vic Sutro (Anthony Carouso) whose holdup attempt is foiled by Callicut.

With his two side kicks, Sgt. Monk Waller (Dick Wesson) and Cpl. Olaf Swenson (Alan Hale Jr.) Callicut at first posing as a school teacher, sets out to discover who is behind the troubles. He learns that there are two opposing factions, one headed by Bram Cregan (Morris Ankrum) and the other by Senator Mark Sheldon (Roy Roberts). Calicutt is not trusted by Giles, who tries to arrest him before learning his true identity. Calicutt becomes attracted to the lovely Lora (of course).

Also in the mix is saloon owner Buckley (Douglas Fowley) and his singer Chona Dregnon (Lyna Romay). Calicutt is assisted by a young Mexican bandied, Joachim Murietta (Robert Cabel) whom he had earlier befriended. When Senator Sheldon is shot, and Cregar rescued from the hangman's noose, Calicutt thinks he has it all figured out...or does he?

As in most of Scott's westerns there is a major shoot out and plenty of fast paced action. Alan Hale Jr. basically picked up where his late father left off playing similar roles until he hit it really big as the Captain in TVs "Gilligan's Island". As an item of interest, Hale Sr. had appeared with Scott in one of his last films, "Colt 45" (1950). Patrice Wymore was one of Errol Flynn's wives.

Not one of the best Scott westerns but entertaining nonetheless.

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