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Gunfight in Abilene (1967)

Approved | | Western | March 1967 (USA)
Fighting in the Civil War a man accidently kills his friend. Returning to Abilene after the war he finds his former sweetheart about to marry the brother of the man he killed. To pay his ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as John D. F. Black) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Cal Wayne
Amy Martin
Grant Evers
Ward Kent
Ned Martin
Cord Decker
Frank Norton
William Mims ...
Ed Scovie
Robert Sorrells ...
Smoky Staub


Fighting in the Civil War a man accidently kills his friend. Returning to Abilene after the war he finds his former sweetheart about to marry the brother of the man he killed. To pay his debt he not only refuses to win her back but takes the job of Sheriff, a job he doesn't want, when the brother asks him. Still haunted by the killing he refuses to carry a gun. But there is trouble between the ranchers and the farmers and when he finds the brother murdered he straps on a gun and heads after the killer. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The time: NOON! The odds: DESPERATE! The result: MEMORABLE!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Sheriff schießt zurück  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Michael Sarrazin. See more »


The bar hostess is not only wearing colors which would be uncommon for clothing in 1860s America, she is wearing a short sleeve blouse. Due to illnesses and injuries leaving scars as well as the standards of modesty at the time, few people showed any skin beyond their necks, faces and hands. See more »


Joe Slade: Strip off his shirt. Tie 'im up to that wagon.
See more »


Remake of Showdown at Abilene (1956) See more »


Words and Music by Bobby Darin
Performed by Bobby Darin (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A good film but pointless re-make
20 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

I spent and enjoyable 90 minutes or so watching this film a few months ago and I would have summed this up as a good film and probably given it a higher rating (6-7).

However yesterday I sat down to watch the earlier made "Showdown at Abilene" and for the first 20 minutes had this feeling of "deja-vu". It was then I realised that this was an almost identical re-make of a film that was only 11 years old and wondered why on earth they bothered.

The lead in "Gunfight" is hopelessly miscast; Bobby Darin always seems to come across as a poor-man's Dean Martin and seems to have a constant grin on his face throughout. I am also of the generation that can no longer take Leslie Nielson seriously in ANY film which is a shame as he makes quite a good fist of this role. I am also always uncomfortable watching Michael Sarrazin (although that is an entirely personal thing and admit that this probably has more to do with his "intensity" as an actor than any lack of skill in his trade). Even in this, his first role, he is the stand-out act.

One thing on which I must comment however is Darin's Confederate uniform however is laughable (more Las Vegas than Civil War) and is so tight, he dare not bend over at any time!

To be fair to Gunfight however I thought I should give this another go and then watched the pair back to back.

The original (Showdown) is a much better and much more subtle in its approach to the reasons why he will not carry a gun (I'll say no more for fear of it being a "spoiler"). Had I not seen the earlier film, I would have been quite happy with this version but it is not really a patch on the first one and seems a pointless re-make.

If you have time and love Westerns as much as I do give this a go but if you can only watch one watch the original.

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