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.
After serving a five year prison sentence for allowing his men to destroy a town in a drunken spree, a trail boss is hired by the same town's leading citizen to drive their cattle to Fort ... See full summary »
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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Excellent movie, well acted, very suspenseful, universal themes.
About 30 years ago, I was on vacation in Florida with my family. One rainy night in our motel we settled down to watch this movie, and it stuck with me forever. Even today, I can watch a movie, and a month later, I can't remember it - usually because it had terrible acting, an awful (or non-existent) plot, or both. But I will never forget, "At Gunpoint." I suppose another reason I remember this movie is because I was so young, and the movie had adult themes. But I understood the themes. I liked how MacMurray, the common man, became an unlikely hero. To me, this was a movie about heroism being thrust upon a person, and how MacMurray's character awkwardly dealt with the responsibilities that came with that heroism. In kind of a backwards way, the heroism came first, then the courage, but only after a long, drawn-out, sweaty palms, interim battle with his own fears. I also liked the way the movie juxtaposed accidental heroism with the real, earned heroism in the same character--it defined heroism. This was also a movie about how a hero sometimes has to stand alone amidst a community of cowards, even if it means certain death, and that, sometimes, honor is more important than life itself. The suspense in this movie was gripping. When watching it, I felt MacMurray's nearly incapacitating fear as he waited for the dead bandit's friends to return and get their vengeance. Everyone should be able to easily relate to the universal themes in "At Gunpoint." I didn't comment on the details of the scenes of this movie for fear of getting them wrong - it has been over 30 years since I saw it.
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