Former buffalo hunter and entrepreneur Wyatt Earp arrives in the lawless cattle town of Wichita Kansas. His skill as a gun-fighter make him a perfect candidate for Marshal but he refuses ... See full summary »
A farmer, Zachary Hallock (Joel McCrea) & his son Joshua (Jimmy Hunt) try to establish new roots on their farm near a small western town victimized by outlaws. The merchants & ranchers form... See full summary »
After a band of Indians kill a group of soldiers, Sergeant Hook captures them and their leader Nanches. Among the prisoners is Nanches' son and the boy's white mother captured by them nine ... See full summary »
Charles Marquis Warren
Gunfighter Billy Ringo decides to hang up his guns, buy a ranch and marry Arlene Reach. His brother Matt, father of Chip, the nephew Ringo is trying to keep on the straight and narrow, with... See full summary »
The latest of a series of stagecoach holdups in the Arizona Territory takes place on a stagecoach in which Mike Ryan, undercover agent for the stage line, and Molly Jones, daughter of the local sheriff, are passengers. The bandana masking one of the robbers slips and he is killed by the gang-leader Velvet Clark. The latter masquerades as a respectable piano-playing citizen of the community. The townspeople are aroused enough over the continued robberies that they ask Sheriff Tom Jones to resign but they agree to give him more time when he takes on Ryan as a deputy. Circumstantial evidence leads the sheriff to Clark, but the latter kills him and escapes. Ryan tracks him to Gunsight Ridge where there is a showdown gunfight. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Other posters are right to mention this film's formal qualitiesstrong acting, excellent b/w cinematography, and poignant touches like the villain's piano interludes and Carolyn Craig as the farm girlalong with the film's historical status as a late specimen of the B western film when television was chock-a-block with shoot-em-ups.
This transitional historical moment gives Heartbreak Ridge a hybrid quality, as it combines the movie western's intensity and depth of character with the TV western's bare staging. The script itself could hardly offer less to work with, with the back-stories for the hero and villain being provided only by Joel McCrea's Irish affectations and Mark Stevens's 2 or 3 lines about having the talent to play the piano but not the money or leisure. "Gunsight Ridge" is a good title, but if like me you wait in westerns for at least some allusion to explain a title, for this one you have to wait until someone casually mentions a border obstruction that will provide the setting for the final showdown.
The western in any medium is always fairly minimalistthe more I've watched, the more words seem only pauses in action, landscape, and music. Given such plain fare, skill matters more than brilliance: for instance, Joel McCrea could ride a horse, and the cinematographer knew how to capture his skill. Cameo bonus: the groom in the quirky border town marriage is the late Jody McCrea, who would play the comic Bonehead in early 60s surfing-beach movies with Annette and Frankie.
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