Having been a spy for Quantrill's raiders during the Civil War, Jeff Travis thinking himself a wanted man, flees to Prescott Arizona where he runs into Jules Mourret who knows of his past. He takes a job on the stage line that Mourret is trying to steal gold from. When Mourret's men kill a friend of his he sets out to get Mourret and his men. When his plan to have another gang get Mourret fails, he has to go after them himself. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are quite a few surprises in this film. First of all, it keeps you guessing especially as regards Randolph Scott's character, whose motivation is difficult to discern. It's hard to tell if he's a bad guy or a good guy sometimes, as he manipulates two different gangs of unsavory characters. This does not anticipate Yojimbo or A Fisftful of Dollars. Both of those films, plus this film, all derive somewhat from The Glass Key, which was filmed twice before The Stranger Wore A Gun was released in 1953. (In 1935 with George Raft and 1942 with Alan Ladd.)Those films were based on Dashiell Hammett's novel of 1931. In any case, this film has its own tale to tell, and the performances of Scott, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine are solid. The film suffers somewhat from the 3-D effects which are kind of lame in the 2-D format we have to suffer on our TV sets. People who don't remember the 3-D craze will probably think the director was weird. All in all, the film's offbeat style and great ensemble cast make this well worth watching a time or two. It is by no means an ordinary run-of-the-mill Western.
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