McCullough is "passing through on my way to Australia" when he takes a job in a gold rush town. After a startling display of marksmanship he immediately arrests the youngest son of the evil landowner (Danby). A battle of hired guns begins as McCullough continues to tame the town and defeat the gunslingers with a combination of skill and wit. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
James Stewart does this same show of expert marksmanship in Winchester '73 (1950) in-order to win the one-of-a-kind rifle in a shooting contest. Instead of a washer he uses an ornament from an Indian necklace with a hole in the center. To prove that he does indeed shoot through the center of the ornament for the second time he places a postage stamp over the hole. See more »
During the fight at the beginning of the movie (in the mud), those fighting switch between being covered in mud and nearly mud-free. See more »
You want me to tell Joe Danby that he's under arrest for murder? What're you gonna do after he kills me?
Then I'll arrest him for both murders.
See more »
This is yet another of those "they don't make 'em like this anymore" gems. And, this western is a comic gem. Okay, it's a scream!
The whole cast is perfect, playing perfectly to a wonderful script. While all the action circles around the perfectly cast James Garner, who is light and amusing. Although he is funny, he's still the straight man to to all the town loonies.
Bruce Dern and Jack Elam are over the top hilarious as a dimwitted bad guy and dimwitted "town character" respectively. Harry Morgan is as funny as he's ever been, which is saying a lot considering his role in What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? Walter Brennan is typically excellent in one of his later roles as the typically grump head of the bad guy's clan. Even the lesser roles, such as Kathleen Freeman as a passerby, are delightful.
But I get sad every time I see the late Joan Hackett, as the mayor's daughter, the madcap, eccentric Prudy. She gets lovelier every time I see this. She's as beautiful as she is funny in this and she's a riot. She left us way too soon.
I wish one of our revival houses would run this coupled with The Cheyanne Social Club, another delightfully comic western from that great era in films. That would be one entertaining night at the movies!
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