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Whenever it becomes known how good he is with guns, ex-gunman George and his wife Dora have to flee the town, in fear of all the gunmen who might want to challenge him. Unfortunately he again spills his secret when he's drunk. All citizens swear to keep his secret and support him to give up his guns forever -- but a boy tells the story to a gang of wanted criminals. Their leader threatens to burn down the whole town, if he doesn't duel him. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Folks in the western town of "Cross Creek" think gentle storekeeper Glenn Ford (as George Temple) is a gun-shy teetotaler. When they drink and tell stories about gunmen who shoot fast from the hip, Mr. Ford becomes disturbed. Beautiful pregnant wife Jeanne Crain (as Dora) tries to comfort her man, but Ford is unable to conceal his secret; he gets drunk and tells a saloon full of men he's "The Fastest Gun Alive". Meanwhile, nasty gunslinger Broderick Crawford (as Vinnie Harold) is busy building his reputation as the area's quickest draw. When Mr. Crawford learns a fast gunslinger is in the area, he wants a duel...
This is a surprisingly thoughtful western parable, which director Russell Rouse and writer Frank D. Gilroy bring effectively to the motion picture screen. There is a rushed, low-budget quality to some of the story. But, many in the supporting cast make it look almost natural. Ford proves himself to be an excellent leading man; this was one of several films which propelled him into the annual "Top Ten Money-Making Stars" list prepared by Quigley Publications. A completely out-of-place and literally "off the wall" dance sequence by Russ Tamblyn (as Eric) is an early highlight; why wasn't this in "That's Entertainment"?
******* The Fastest Gun Alive (7/6/56) Russell Rouse ~ Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Russ Tamblyn
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