The Hired Gun (1957) Poster

(1957)

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6 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
4/10
It's A Hanging Day In Belden County Texas
bkoganbing13 May 2010
Anne Francis is about to hung for the murder of her husband, the son of the local Ponderosa owner John Litel. But her uncle sends Chuck Connors to rescue her and he does, taking her across the Texas state line to New Mexico territory where he, Robert Burton is the local Ponderosa owner. And due to Burton's influence, New Mexico will not honor extradition. What to do, but hire out for The Hired Gun.

In this case it's Rory Calhoun who gets hired for $5000.00 dollars to deliver Francis back to Texas for the sentence to be carried out. He's even deputized to make what is kidnapping have some trapping of legality.

Of course with their time on the trail Calhoun and Francis start getting acquainted. I don't think I have to go any further.

The Hired Gun was almost like watching two different films. A plot line where Francis is being given some unwanted attentions by her rescuer Connors is left dangling. Quite frankly I can't blame Connors for expecting some kind of manifestation of that gratitude. Then when Calhoun and Francis cross the state line, it's like a whole new movie started. I think some writing might have changed midpoint in the film or it was to be a whole bigger type of western when originally conceived.

With stuff like The Hired Gun which Calhoun also produced not being that well received, no wonder Rory Calhoun opted for a TV and he would star in his own television series, The Texan very shortly.
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6/10
Predictable But Well-Made Oater
Van Roberts28 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Rory Calhoun co-produced this modest but predictable oater about a professional gunman who tracks down an escaped murderer who is scheduled to get hanged at the outset of this tightly-made western. Clocking in at 63 minutes, "The Hired Gun" is entertaining potboiler with several future stars, such as Chuck Connors and Vince Edwards, fleshing out a convincing cast. As this saga opens, Judd Farrow (a pre-"Rifleman" Connors)enters the town dressed as a minister and rescues convicted killer Ellen Beldon (Anne Francis of "Bad Day at Black Rock")from the gallows. It seems that Ellen killed her husband during an argument at a party. When everybody went outside to see what the commotion was all about,they found her standing over her dead husband's body with a smoking revolver at her feet. Veteran character actor John Litel of "Dodge City" (1939), who used to co-star in Warner Brothers westerns, such as "Dodge City" (1939)and "San Antonio" (1945), as a stalwart by sympathetic character, plays the upset father of the deceased. He wants to see his dead stepson's wife get her pretty little neck stretched. After she escapes with Connors and heads to New Mexico, which refuses to extradite her to Texas, Litel hires tough guy gunslinger Gil McCord (Calhoun), and he pins on a badge from the local lawman to make everything legitimate. Of course, after Rory manages to abduct her and take her back to face justice, he begins to have doubts about her guilt. Harold J. Marzoratti's widescreen black and white cinematography is a pleasure to watch. The outdoors scenery is appropriately rugged and the frontier towns look like they are on the frontier instead of a tree-planted studio backlot, so everything has a dusty, rough-hewn, realistic feel. Francis is good as the female killer. Although Connors doesn't get as much screen time, he makes an indelible impression while hot-headed Vince Edwards makes a suitable nemesis for Rory in the final quarter-hour. The real pleasure of watching "The Hired Gun" is watching a supremely confident Rory Calhoun give another solid, if uninspiring performance. Calhoun has presence and you believe that he is as leathery as he looks on the big screen. "The Hired Gun" recalls the kind of westerns that Randolph Scott made with director Budd Boetticher at about the same time. Finally, don't overlook Guinn "Big Boy" Williams of "Santa Fe Trail" in a minor supporting role as a tough hombre that Rory has to lash up with rawhide strips to sweat the truth out of him.
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The wrong (wo)man
dbdumonteil20 August 2011
A very short western,clocking at hardly 70 min,but a fast moving one,well acted and with a screenplay which can appeal to ladies ,which is not obvious a far as this genre is concerned ;the background may be the wild west ,but the plot is sometimes close to detective story ,a whodunit (although you would have guessed who the culprit is in the first minutes!) ' Annee Francis portrays a young widow,falsely accused of her husband 's murder and sentenced to death (rare in westerns for a girl!);as her uncle helps her to escape (with Chuck "rifleman" Connors dressed up as a priest),the ruthless in-laws......well check the title .

Rory Calhoun is efficient as the hired gun ;he also produced this entertaining movie,which seems to suffer for its small budget :the last quarter seems botched,but the rest is pretty well done.
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7/10
with Vince Edwards and Chuck Connors this should have been better
RanchoTuVu20 May 2010
The Hired Gun opens with a camera shot through the noose that is scheduled to go around the pretty neck of Ellen Beldon (Anne Francis), the first woman ever to face hanging in Texas. When she's rescued by Judd Farrow (Chuck Connors) and taken back to her family's ranch in New Mexico, the Texans hire Gil McCord (Rory Calhoun) to bring her back in order to carry out the sentence. The heavy backdrop of a potential hanging, especially of a woman, gives the film some dramatic weight, as does the trip back to Texas, after McCord has recaptured Ellen. The film could have been a lot more interesting if on the way back to Texas it had exploited some of the underlying lust between them. Instead it plays it safe with a few action scenes where a group of Indians attack and McCord kills them, thus putting the film in jeopardy of being a Saturday afternoon flick for the kiddy matinees. Considering the cast, which includes a good part for Vince Edwards as well as Chuck Conners, and the overall noir look due to the b & w cinematography, the film had the story ingredients and talent to be a minor masterpiece.
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2/10
Hokey ultra low budget western
Keith Kjornes2 May 2005
Badly made western featuring Calhoun as a gunfighter paid $5000 to go find an escaped murderer-- who happens to be Anne Francis. He does so, and of course, everyone is trying to stop him. Terrible performances, terrible script, lack luster direction, wall to wall music-- all in all, a really bad movie. And it's only about 72 minutes long. Made back in the days when westerns ruled on the TV screens, it was shot widescreen, with only one or two well shot scenes, the rest of the time, it looked like they did one take and moved on. Classic scenes even included four Indians who were obviously white guys in grease paint. Good for a laugh, that's about it. TCM shows this once in a while-- a real hoot.
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7/10
Modest But Predictable Rory Calhoun Western
zardoz-1325 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Rory Calhoun co-produced this modest but predictable Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer oater about a professional gunslinger who tracks down an escaped murderer who was scheduled to hang at the outset of this tightly-paced western. Clocking in at a minimal 64 minutes, director Ray Nazarro's "The Hired Gun" is a tolerably entertaining horse opera. Some future television stars, including Chuck Connors and Vince Edwards, flesh out the predominantly masculine cast that look as seasoned as their saddles. As this saga unfolds in Beldon County, Texas, Judd Farrow (Chuck Connors before "The Rifleman") enters the dusty little town masquerading as a minister. He rescues convicted killer Ellen Beldon (Anne Francis of "Bad Day at Black Rock") from a date with the hangman. This hanging would have qualified as historic since Ellen would be the first woman to swing from a noose in Texas. It seems that Ellen killed her husband during an argument at a party. When everybody ventured outside to see what the commotion concerned, they found Ellen standing over her dead husband's body with a smoking revolver at her feet.

Veteran character actor John Litel of "Dodge City" (1939), who co-starred in other memorable Warner Brothers' westerns, like "Dodge City" (1939) and "San Antonio" (1945), plays Mace Beldon, the upset father of the deceased. He demands that his daughter-in-law get her pretty little neck stretched. After she escapes with Connors into the sanctuary of New Mexico, which refuses to extradite her, Litel hires swift-shooting gun hand Gil McCord (Rory Calhoun of "Massacre River") for $5000, and McCord is given a badge to make everything appear legitimate rather than like a kidnapping. McCord demands a $1000 in advance before he rides out, and Mace peels the greenbacks out of his wallet without complaint. "I want one thing understood," McCord stipulates, "I do this job alone—all of it." Interestingly, the first time that our hero lays eyes on Ellen, she is bent over, dragging a sack out of the barn with her butt aimed at him. Later, after McCord abducts Ellen and escorts her back to face justice, he begins to have doubts about her guilt. Eventually, McCord learns that Kel Beldon (Vince Edwards of "The Devil's Brigade") shot his own brother Cliff at point blank range during a face-to-face struggle at a barn dance in Indian Springs. According to Ellen, Kel and Cliff were half-brothers. Kel wanted desperately to inherit the family fortune, and he feared that Cliff would get it.

"Gun Glory" cinematographer Harold J. Marzoratti's widescreen black and white pictorial compositions are nothing short of splendid. The outdoors scenery is appropriately rugged, and the frontier towns look like they are on the frontier instead of a tree-planted studio back lot, so everything has a dusty, rough-hewn, realistic feel. Unfortunately, sometimes the principals appear with obvious backdrops substituting for the real thing. Francis is good as the female killer. Although Connors doesn't get as much screen time, he makes an indelible impression, while hot-headed Vince Edwards as Mace's son makes a suitable nemesis for Rory during the final quarter-hour. The real satisfaction of watching "The Hired Gun" is watching a supremely confident Rory Calhoun deliver another solid performance. Calhoun has presence, and you believe that he is as seasoned as he seems on the big screen. Finally, don't overlook Guinn "Big Boy" Williams of "Santa Fe Trail" in a minor supporting role as a tough hombre that Rory has to lash up with rawhide strips to sweat the truth out of him. This is pretty gruesome stuff when you think about one man torturing another. "The Hired Gun" recalls the kind of westerns that Randolph Scott made with director Budd Boetticher at about the same time. Director Ray Nazarro doesn't squander a second in this concise sagebrusher.
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