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The Gun Hawk (1963)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  28 August 1963 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 157 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Blaine Madden
Rod Cameron ...
Sheriff Ben Corey
...
Marleen
Rod Lauren ...
'Reb' Roan
...
Deputy 'Mitch' Mitchell
...
Johnny Flanders
...
Drunk - Madden's father
Jody Daniels ...
Tommy
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 ...
Henchman
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

He Was The Legend The West Will Never Forget! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stadt ohne Sheriff  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of director Edward Ludwig. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Soundtracks

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

 
Gunfighter Rory Calhoun pursued by sheriff Rod Cameron to Sanctuary
16 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Gun Hawk" is definitely a different western story. Rory Calhoun is excellent as a middle-aged gunfighter headed back to the town he founded and runs, Sanctuary. But before he gets there, he stops off at the town where his "old fool" and drunk pappy lives, John Litel. Rod Cameron's the sheriff there and wanted Calhoun at one time to be his protégé before Calhoun left for parts unknown. Cameron still likes Calhoun, almost in a fatherly way. His deputy, Morgan Woodward, is bitter about being the second choice. In town is a young guy, Rod Lauren, looking for a role model and he finds it in Calhoun. Lauren's acting is along the lines of the style of Michael Parks or James Dean, but not as convincing.

Gunplay interrupts Calhoun's plans and first thing you know he's being pursued to Sanctuary by Cameron and Woodward.

Calhoun is a greatly underrated actor. He delivers his lines beautifully. He has that acting maturity and skill to make them mean something and have an impact. Calhoun's performance is much better than the movie overall. Cameron is effective too in his own way, which is less emotional and more straightforward.

This story is a tragedy. It's actually quite downbeat.

One aspect that's fascinating about it is how it treats the theme of the law. Cameron is wholly devoted to being a sheriff and to the law. He places law above personal relationships. How he feels toward Calhoun personally takes a back seat. Interestingly, Calhoun has formulated a law for his outlaw sanctuary town, named Sanctuary. We see him enforcing it when he's there. Cameron is disappointed that Calhoun didn't become his deputy, but he rationalizes by viewing Calhoun as a kind of lawman in Sanctuary. But we really have two very different kinds of law at work. Cameron's law comes from society, not him. He is society's tool. Calhoun's law is his personal creation, and the outlaws who come to Sanctuary know in advance that they are to obey that law if they are to stay there. When Cameron tries to salve his feelings by thinking of Calhoun as a lawman, he's really trying to make Calhoun into the same kind of "tool" that he has been in his career. This really does not wash. In the story, Calhoun shows us clearly that he intends to live and die on his own terms, and these personal terms are larger in a basic sense than Cameron's terms which are socially constrained.


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