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Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

A marshal tries to bring the son of an old friend, an autocratic cattle baron, to justice for the rape and murder of his wife.

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(story "Showdown"), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marshal Matt Morgan
...
Craig Belden
...
Linda
...
Rick Belden
...
Beero
Brian G. Hutton ...
Lee Smithers (as Brian Hutton)
Ziva Rodann ...
Catherine Morgan
...
Skag
...
Steve, Horseshoe Bartender'
...
Sheriff Bartlett
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Storyline

The wife of marshal Matt Morgan is raped and murdered. The killers leave behind a distinctive saddle, that Morgan recognises as belonging to his old friend Craig Belden, now cattle baron in the town of Gun Hill. Belden is sympathetic, until it transpires that one of the murderers is his own son Rick, whom he refuses to hand over. Morgan is determined to capture Rick and take him away by the 9.00 train; but he is trapped in the town alone, with Belden and all his men now looking to kill him. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now...from the star,the director and the producer of "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1959 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Last Train from Harper's Junction  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal B. Wallis bought Les Crutchfield 's story in March 1954 and planned it as a possible starring vehicle for Charlton Heston or Burt Lancaster. See more »

Goofs

When showing that Beldins men are on the roof tops, the camera shows utility poles with multiple electrical power lines. Electricity was unavailable, and they clearly used kerosene lamps for lighting. See more »

Quotes

Craig Belden: [trying to plead for his son] How can we settle this, Matt?
Marshal Matt Morgan: The law's gotta settle it, Craig. Not us.
Craig Belden: I saved your life once. You owe me that. You owe me one life.
Marshal Matt Morgan: I remember you saved my life. But he took a life! He killed a woman! Just for the fun of it! Just...
Craig Belden: Taking my boy ain't gonna bring your wife back.
Marshal Matt Morgan: My wife or somebody else's makes no difference. I took an oath for this job. The oath says bring him in. That's what I'll do.
Craig Belden: What do you want me to do? You want me to beg, Matt? Alright,...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Bhavani Junction (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent classic western with too little attention
22 January 2006 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Some say Rio Bravo, some the Searchers, some Shane for some reason. Everyone has an opinion about what the greatest 'classic' western (before the '60s when Leone and Peckinpah broke the old myths) is. I would have said High Noon for a while ago. Then I was home last evening, at a very cold and snowy winter day. I thought to look at a movie from TV and didn't care much what they were showing. It happened to be this masterpiece. And I was awe-struck.

The story tells about a sheriff (Kirk Douglas), whose Indian wife and a mother to his child is raped and murdered. He goes on to find the men who did it to the town of Gun Hill and finds out that the other of the men is the son of his old friend (Anthony Quinn). He has in time become the most powerful man of Gun Hill and won't let his son to be taken to the court for his actions.

This is a quite daring one for a fifties western. There's some blood and nudity here. And most of all, the sides aren't black and white, but rather shades of gray. The movie's most potent message is that you can't take a life, even a criminal, because there will be people who were close to him and his death will hurt them worse. Every life is valuable.

Kirk Douglas is good in the lead role. He bottles most of his emotions in, as probably anyone in his situation would. Better is Anthony Quinn, who essentially has to decide between his son and his best friend. He portrays anger, fear, anxiety and hopelessness great.

This became my favorite classic western. it's not Once Upon a Time in the West, but I loved to see so mature themes in such an old movie. It looks great too, they had wonderful set builders then.

***** The Best Part: The showdown at the Gun Hill railway station


30 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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