Gunman's Walk (1958)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  July 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 752 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

A powerful rancher always protects his wild adult son by paying for damages and bribing witnesses, until his crimes become too serious to rectify.



(screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) , (story)
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Complete credited cast:
Lee Hackett
Ed Hackett
Clee Chouard
Davy Hackett
Mickey Shaughnessy ...
Deputy Sheriff Will Motely
Robert F. Simon ...
Sheriff Harry Brill
Purcell Avery
Jensen Sieverts
Paul Birch ...
Bob Selkirk
Michael Granger ...


Widower Lee Hackett (Van Heflin), a cattle rancher who is a product of the old west, tries to bring up his two sons, Ed (Tab Hunter)and Davy (James Darren), in his image, but Ed is wild and unruly. The two brothers are both attracted to Clee Chourard ('Kathryn Grant(I)') but she prefers Davy. Ed's efforts to outshine his father and brother and everyone else leads him into a career of a gunfighter, and a confrontation with his father. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SUDDEN DEATH ON GUNMAN'S WALK! the mad-dog killer of Jackson City takes on a posse led by his own father! ((original print ad) See more »




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Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Slicks  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though in most respects a forgettable movie, Gunman's Walk is notable for being one of the few films in which the blond, blue eyed, square jawed Tab Hunter was cast as a brooding, violent and generally unlikable character. See more »


When Lee Hackett leaves town, chasing after his jailbreak son, Ed, he is riding a "right-maned" horse. When he catches up with Ed, he is on a "left-maned" (different) horse. See more »


Deputy Sheriff Will Motely: Lee, you and I grew up in our own times - Ed's got to learn to grow up in his, and times have changed!
See more »


I'm A Runaway
by Fred Karger & Richard Quine
Sung by Tab Hunter (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

outstanding movie which requires more thought than you may think
20 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Gunman's Walk" is not only outstanding on the entertainment level, it also presents what could be clichéd material in a superbly directed and written comment on many issues. The story is an action Western first. Van Heflin, easily one of the greatest of all Western actors, plays a rugged Western hero of the old pioneer days, who participated in many wars against the Native American. Unlike the more sugar coated stories of many Westerns, he is not forgiving of his enemy, and his character is still much the same man when he enters a new era. Heflin's character is now a big man in his territory, respected and feared by all. Heflin gives this character an incredible likability, which in retrospect, makes him even scarier. It is easy to compare this man with Anthony Quinn in "Last Train to Gun Hill", another impressive performance by another great actor. Except this man is much friendlier and less menacing, yet he commands the respect for his abilities with guns, fists, and bravery. Heflin now has a big ranch and two sons. The older one, Tab Hunter, wants to be the big hero his father was, but lives in an era when the Native American is not at war with them. In fact, Ed Platt plays an Indian agent who tries to protect the native population from Hunter's outbursts, to no avail. The younger son, James Darren, is perfectly cast as the dove of the family, who abhors violence. To make matters worse, he is attracted to a beautiful Native American girl, which puts him as the one bearing the brunt of suffering in the middle from both sides. Heflin is going along with the times, but not by conventional means. he hangs on to his valor by recalling his feats in the past. Hunter constantly hears the exploits with other older men in the saloon, speaking as if they were in Floyd's Mayberry RFD barber shop. Exploits against the native Americans that aren't allowed any more, but Hunter wants to have such stories told about him some day. Heflin's character hasn't moved with the times. He simply laughs at them. He raises his sons to be fighters and the end result is that the oldest son steps way over any civilized line. The climax is not exactly hidden. We know that Heflin must confront himself, and he does this by confronting his sons. One he admires, and the other he disowns midway through the movie. By the end, he realizes his mistake. But all through the movie, characters remind us that Hunter isn't the one who caused it all. It is actually Heflin. Yet Heflin's performance is so great that instead of seeing him for the evil man he is, we pity him, and don't blame him. Much like the crafty Fred March in "Hombre", one of the evilest men in Westerns, yet able to snake oil his way through it. Heflin's attitude and character is in the oldest son, and he was responsible. In the end, Heflin admits this, and we forgive him at first, when we see him break down. However, this movie requires much thought. It gives a very frightening picture of the truth about prejudice, and about the evil that is allowed to pass on through cultures and generations, and the way it is done. It is a movie we should watch and learn from, and it is done in a very sneaky way. A must see movie.

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