7.1/10
2,074
49 user 7 critic

The Fastest Gun Alive (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 6 July 1956 (USA)
In the western frontier town of Cross Creek storekeeper George Temple is a polite and soft spoken man with a secret past.When three bank robbers on the lam stop in town to change horses George Temple's past comes back to haunt him.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Jubal (1956)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A new foreman rejects the sexual advances of a frustrated rancher's wife, which leads to conflicts that could get him killed.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger
The Sheepman (1958)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A stranger in a Western cattle-town behaves with remarkable self-assurance, establishing himself as a man to be reckoned with. The reason appears with his stock: a herd of sheep, which he ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Glenn Ford, Shirley MacLaine, Leslie Nielsen
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the small western town Vinegarroon the conflict between cattle and sheep breeders escalates. When a stranger appears in the town, the ranchers suspect he's a gun man, hired by the sheep ... See full summary »

Director: Lee H. Katzin
Stars: Glenn Ford, Carolyn Jones, Barbara Hershey
Cowboy (1958)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idealistic tenderfoot Chicago hotel clerk is taken on a cattle-drive to Mexico by famous trail boss Tom Reece but discovers that cowboy life isn't what he expected.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A deadly gunslinger travels to a town to shoot it out with a famed gunslinger turned lawman in a small town.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Glenn Ford, Angie Dickinson, Chad Everett
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the war for Texas independence, one man leaves the Alamo before the end (chosen by lot to help others' families) but is too late to accomplish his mission, and is branded a coward. ... See full summary »

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Glenn Ford, Julie Adams, Chill Wills
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman and two children are kidnapped by Apaches. The husband of the captured woman enlists the help of his neighbor to find the Apaches that seized his family; not knowing his neighbor has unknown reasons of his own for helping him.

Director: Jerry Thorpe
Stars: Glenn Ford, Arthur Kennedy, Dean Jagger
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two friends return home after their discharge from the army after the Civil War. However, one of them has had deep-rooted psychological damage due to his experiences during the war, and as ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Glenn Ford, William Holden, Ellen Drew
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens
The Rounders (1965)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ben and Howdy are a couple of aging cowboys who bust broncos out of Sedona for Jim Ed Love, a slick operator if ever there was one. Sisters, Meg and Agatha, have their eyes on Ben and Howdy... See full summary »

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, Sue Ane Langdon
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After the Civil War, a highly decorated Shoshone Indian veteran plans to raise cattle in Wyoming but white farmers plan to grab fertile tribal lands by pitting the whites against the Indians.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Taylor, Louis Calhern, Paula Raymond
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dora Temple
...
Vinnie Harold
...
Eric Doolittle
...
Harvey Maxwell
...
Lou Glover
...
Taylor Swope
...
Dink Wells (as Noah Beery)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Kevin McGovern
...
Brian Tibbs
...
Rose Tibbs
...
Frank Stringer
...
Ben Buddy
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Lars Toomey
Christopher Olsen ...
Bobby Tibbs (as Chris Olsen)
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHAT HAPPENS in the next few minutes makes one of the most dramatic climaxes of any story you've ever seen!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die erste Kugel trifft  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,383,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

Glenn Ford's pistol is already cocked while in his holster. A professional gunfighter would never do that because of the very likely possibility it would go off as soon as it was touched. See more »

Quotes

[during a bank robbery]
Bank Customer: Vinnie Harold! I thought it was you.
[Harold shoots the customer]
Vinnie Harold: Now you can be positive!
See more »

Connections

Remake of The United States Steel Hour: The Last Notch (1954) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Crisis in Cross Creek.
5 May 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Fastest Gun Alive is directed by Russell Rouse and is adapted by Rouse and Frank D. Gilroy from a Gilroy story titled The Last Notch. It stars Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Russ Tamblyn, Allyn Joslyn, Leif Erickson, John Dehner and Noah Beery Junior. A black and white production out of MGM, it's photographed by George J. Folsey and features music by André Previn.

The town of Cross Creek is home to a very mild man named George Temple (Ford), there he runs the local store and lives in peaceful harmony with his wife Dora (Crain). Then one day the town hears news of how outlaw Vinnie Harold (Crawford) has gunned down Clint Fallon, the once thought of fastest gunman alive. It's not long before the talk of other fast guns dominates discussion, with George becoming increasingly agitated at how the town people view him as meek and mild. With his pride hurt, George sets about dispelling some myths about fast gunmen and his own current persona. With that comes trouble, big trouble for everyone in Cross Creek when Vinnie Harold rolls into town.

By the time of The Fastest Gun Alive's release, the psychological Western was in full flow. Anthony Mann had blazed the trail with his genre defining run of Western's that he made with James Stewart, the last of which would be in 1955 with The Man From Laramie. From there the torch would be picked up with some aplomb by the pairing of Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott, who began with Seven Men From Now in this same year as The Fastest Gun Alive. Away from those genre legends, many directors were turning their hands to more adult/serious Western's, some successful, some not so and some which have been forgotten, rightly or wrongly, for various reasons, when the subject of psychological Western's arises. Probably on account of it's lower tier director, The Fastest Gun Alive is the latter.

The title actually doesn't help the film, it immediately conjures up images of a man creating death with his whippy pistols. Suffice to say it isn't that sort of film, and those that have previously been lured in by the title, have no doubt felt a little short changed. Rouse's movie is more concerned with mood and the psychology of the principal players in Gilroy's story. Both Ford and Crawford's characters are driven by motives, that although different, inevitably means a collision is unavoidable. But the story isn't just about these two men, it takes time to involve loved ones and the people of the town, all are involved and as it turns out, all are key elements as to why the film is a character driven little gem. While what action there is is competently handled by the director, notably the finale that also comes with an unbearable precursor of tension.

What problems there are in the picture are thankfully only minor. Crawford is just a touch too much one note, but such is his hulking frame he looks the part of a brutish bully and he gets away with it. Tamblyn is seriously out of place, almost as much as his dance number is! It's skillful and delightful: if only it were in the right movie. For it shifts the tone of the film downwards and you have to wonder who made the ridiculous decision to include it in the film. But away from those issues it's all good. Crain looks stunning and plays emotive worry with ease, while Dehner does a nice line in shifty side-kick. But it's Ford who takes the honours, either playing it as a tortured soul who's emotionally conflicted, or as a man who is genuinely scared, Ford convinces and draws the audience into the unfolding drama.

Forget any notion of a stereotype suggested by the film's title and enjoy the atypical way in which the movie deals with its characters. This is a good un, very much so. 8/10


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?