The Gun Hawk (1963)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  28 August 1963 (USA)
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Gunslinger Rory Calhoun dispenses his own brand of justice in this action-packed Western adventure costarring Rod Cameron and Ruta Lee. It's been three years since gunfighter Blaine Madden ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Blaine Madden
Rod Cameron ...
Sheriff Ben Corey
Rod Lauren ...
'Reb' Roan
Deputy 'Mitch' Mitchell
Johnny Flanders
Drunk - Madden's father
Jody Daniels ...
Ron Whelan ...
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ...
Miguel (as Rodolpho Hoyos)
Lane Bradford ...
Joe Sully
Natividad Vacío ...
Quid (as Natividad Vacio)
Joan Connors ...
Roan's Woman
Glenn Stensel ...
Luke Sully
Gregg Barton ...


Gunslinger Rory Calhoun dispenses his own brand of justice in this action-packed Western adventure costarring Rod Cameron and Ruta Lee. It's been three years since gunfighter Blaine Madden (Calhoun) visited his hometown. So when he warns the Sully brothers to stop harassing the town drunk, they shoot the old man dead, not realizing he's Madden's father. Killing them both, Madden is badly wounded by the sheriff (Cameron) but escapes to an outlaw haven where the law fears to tread and prepares what may be his last stand. Written by Jo Heims (Play Misty for Me), The Gun Hawk was the final film directed by Edward Ludwig, whose nearly 50-year career spanned over 100 shorts, TV episodes and features, including the John Wayne hits The Fighting Seabees, Wake of the Red Witch and Big Jim McLain. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


NONE COULD MATCH THE FURY OF HIS GUNS... or the violent way he loved! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stadt ohne Sheriff  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


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Did You Know?


Final film of director Edward Ludwig. See more »


In the taverna bar in Sanctuary, Curly confronts Johnny Flanders. In the course of their conversation, Johnny mistakenly refers to Curly as Johnny - "Now look Johnny, nobody's gonna kill nobody in this town" See more »


A Searcher For Love
Music and lyrics by Robert P. Marcucci and Russell Faith (as Russ Faith)
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User Reviews

El gavilán pistolero
2 November 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Gun Hawk is directed by Edward Ludwig and collectively written by Jo Heims, Richard Bernstein and Max Steeber. It stars Rory Calhoun, Rod Cameron, Ruta Lee, Rod Lauren, Morgan Woodward and Robert J. Wilke. Music is by Jimmy Haskell and cinematography by Paul Vogel.

Gunslinger Blaine Madden (Calhoun) is pursued by the law after a shoot out he was forced into results in him killing two men. With young protégée Reb Roan (Lauren) in tow, Madden makes his way to the town of Sanctuary, a place that ultimately holds the fate cards of the man known as El gavilán.

Still trying to reform the world Ben?

It's pretty stock formula on a thematic front, and for sure there's some creakiness in the script and from some of the actors around Calhoun, but there's a big pay off here. It's something of a rare little Western this one, out of Allied Artists it proves to be one of the better B Westerns from the company. The main interest value comes with the burgeoning relationship between the aged gunslinger and his hot headed punk companion. It's through this relationship that the finale gets its emotional wallop, something which lifts the picture out of the ordinary.

Sanctuary. If you kill there you have no place else to go.

On the outskirts of the relationship between Blaine and Reb there is the lawmen in pursuit, one is wise and has a soft spot for Madden, the other is angry and only sees death for Madden as a positive result. Into the mix comes Ruta Lee (ravishing in looks, staid in acting) as the love interest, though it's nice to report that this strand of the story never cloys and in fact enhances the Madden character arc. Robert J. Wilke and Lane Bradford file in for villain duties, with the former energetic and doing a nice line in brash outlaw who is destined for a fall.

Back off. BACK OFF!

In spite of being able to spot the obvious cheap aspects of the production, the tech credits are rather decent. There's some nice outdoor photography from the Bronson Canyon locale, set design is colourful and costuming is very pleasing. On the flip-side, though, Haskell's music becomes repetitious and therefore irritating, while the make-up department go over board for the key scene at the end. But with Calhoun turning in a very effective ghoulish performance and that finale of some great reward, The Gun Hawk is worthy of being better known and supported. 7/10

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