The peace-loving owner of a general store, who became a town hero when he luckily killed the leader of a gang of bank robbers, is deserted by the townspeople who fear the threatened return of the vengeful bandits.
Having fled to Mexico from the U.S. many years ago for killing his father's murderer, Martin Brady travels to Texas to broker an arms deal for his Mexican boss, strongman Governor Cipriano ... See full summary »
Marshal Wyatt Earp kills a couple of men of the Clanton-gang in a fight. In revenge Clanton's thugs kill the marshal's brother. Thus, Wyatt Earp starts to chase the killers together with his friend Doc Holliday.
The Dennis gang wants to rob the bank of the sleepy peaceful town of Plainview, Texas. Small town banks like this one have less money than large city banks but they're easy prey. Barlow, the gang's contact in town, assures them that Plainview only has an old marshal, Pete MacKay, who shouldn't pose any problem. The gang heads to Plainview. In town, storekeeper Jack Wright runs his store with wife Martha and brother-in-law Wally. Marshal MacKay and doctor Lacey are playing chess inside the store. Jack Wright makes his daily deposit at the bank and then returns to the store. The Dennis gang arrives and robs the bank, killing a teller and the alerted marshal. In the street, storekeeper Jack Wright picks the dead marshal's gun up and shoots fleeing robber Alvin Dennis, from a great distance. Townsman George Henderson finishes Alvin off with a shotgun. The bandit drops the loot and the bank recovers it. The townsfolk proclaim Jack Wright and George Henderson to be heroes. Storekeeper Jack ... Written by
Joel McCrea was originally cast as Jack Wright. See more »
[Bob Dennis is practicing aiming and firing his gun]
You're sure itchin' to use that thing again, ain't ya?
Never hurts to be ready.
You're always ready. Put it away.
You're nervous, huh?
Yeah, well, I wouldn't be if it wasn't for you.
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Fred MacMurray was not fond of his westerns, his most famous quote was that "the horse and I were never as one". But he rode no horses in At Gunpoint. MacMurray plays the town storekeeper who takes up a weapon and together with Frank Ferguson shoots Jack Pickard head of a gang trying to rob John Qualen's bank. He gets the outlaw leader and saves the money. The town acclaims him and Ferguson, but Ferguson is ambushed by the same gang outside town, MacMurray becomes the town leper.
Comparisons have been made with High Noon, but I think this resembles more 3:10 to Yuma and Johnny Concho. In those two westerns we had citizen heroes as opposed to cowboy heroes. There's no resemblance to John Wayne in MacMurray's role.
Even his wife Dorothy Malone wants him to leave, but MacMurray wants to stay. His only friend is the town doctor Walter Brennan.
This is a very good if somewhat unconventional western. Keep an eye on Skip Homeier as well. He's playing once again an evil punk.
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