Three outlaw buddies rob a bank, but one of them is wounded. His two partners and his girlfriend take his share of the loot and run off, leaving him to be captured by the sheriff. Years ...
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Chris Morrell, the guardian of half-Indian girl Nina, is helping her find her missing white father. so she can cash in on her late mother's oil lease. Outlaw Sam Black is after the girl and... See full summary »
Harry L. Fraser
Shirley Jean Rickert
Three outlaw buddies rob a bank, but one of them is wounded. His two partners and his girlfriend take his share of the loot and run off, leaving him to be captured by the sheriff. Years later, after he gets out of prison, he goes in search of his double-crossing partners and his faithless girlfriend. He finds them in a semi-deserted, run-down town, but instead of killing them right away, he decides to play cat-and-mouse with them first. Written by
Left behind wounded after a robbery, James Arness wants revenge
I'd like to rate "Gun the Man Down" (1956) at 3/4 or 7.5/10. This is a high-quality western in all respects and definitely one that shouldn't be overlooked. This was a Batjac production (John Wayne's company), and its level of quality is typically high.
James Arness stars as a reluctant bank robber in with Robert Wilke and Don Megowan. Angie Dickinson debuts as Arness's girl who's been around the saloon circuit. The robbery (not shown) goes wrong with Arness being shot, The others leave him behind, with Dickinson not wanting to leave him. Arness goes to jail for a year and upon release vows to find the lot of them.
There is one sequence (series of scenes) in this movie that is outstanding, almost achieving classic status. This occurs when a gunslinger (Michael Emmet), who is a friend of Arness, is paid $5,000 by Wilke to kill him and slowly trods through the small town hunting for him. Everything is done beautifully here: pacing, staging, deep focus shots, editing and emotional content.
The rest of the film is likewise done in an accomplished way by director Andrew V. McLaglen, son of actor Victor McLaglen. McLaglen would go on to specialize in westerns, directing Arness in 96 episodes of "Gunsmoke" and Richard Boone in 116 episodes of "Have Gun - Will Travel." The music of Henry Vars combines classic western sounds with themes that draw from great classical composers. Cinematographer William Clothier provided a very sure hand behind the camera. He too specialized in westerns, often of a darker-themed sort, and a smattering of noirs. This movie looks very good in its widescreen edition. Angie Dickinson certainly holds her own amid the experienced cast, and her role is not an easy one. She has always taken on challenging roles that required subtle shadings of character, and her good work has probably not been fully appreciated.
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