Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »
In the turn-of-the century Texas town of Cottownwood Springs, marshal Frank Patch is an old-style lawman in a town determined to become modern. When he kills drunken Luke Mills in self-defense, the town leaders decide it's time for a change. They ask for Patch's resignation, but he refuses on the basis that the town on hiring him had promised him the job for as long as he wanted it. Afraid for the town's future and even more afraid of the fact that Marshal Patch knows all the town's dark secrets, the city fathers decide that old-style violence is the only way to rid themselves of the unwanted lawman. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Don Siegel took over from Robert Totten after a 25 day shoot, and completed it in a further 9 days. See more »
Near the end of the film you can see the electrical wires running (presumably buried for most of their length under the differently-coloured soil) to a man's body as he is 'shot'; the last yard or so of wire -which is presumably for the gunshot SFX- is clearly visible running towards the man's ankles. See more »
We don't have any law in this jerkwater town - he's the law! He's passed his sentence on practically everything and everyone. The people should be the law and will be the law, when they get the urge to get rid of Frank Patch. You see, gentlemen, what we're really deciding here is whether we move forward or backward. We either need to keep up with the times or we lose out.
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Started by Robert Totten, then taken over by Don Siegel at the insistence of Richard Widmark (Totten and the star "clashed," as they say), "Death of a Gunfighter" wound up credited to the fictitious and now somewhat famous Alan Smithee. This intriguing Western remains the elusive director's best work, thanks, no doubt, to the proven skills of Siegel and another terrific Widmark performance (the director and star had previously collaborated on "Madigan" a year earlier). As sheriff Widmark's love interest, Lena Horne hasn't much to do, but she looks good doing it.
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