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The Gunfighter (2014)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 317 users  
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In the tradition of classic westerns, a narrator sets up the story of a lone gunslinger who walks into a saloon. However, the people in this saloon can hear the narrator and the narrator may just be a little bit bloodthirsty.

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Title: The Gunfighter (2014)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
The Gunfighter
...
Tommy Henderson
...
Johnny Henderson
...
Sally
...
Sam
...
Bill Jessup
...
Elijah Jessup
...
Gabriel Jessup
...
Ned Schilling (as Circus Szalewski)
Chet Nelson ...
Farmer Valentine
Keith Biondi ...
John McCullers
...
The Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

In the tradition of classic westerns, a narrator sets up the story of a lone gunslinger who walks into a saloon. However, the people in this saloon can hear the narrator and the narrator may just be a little bit bloodthirsty.

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Short | Comedy | Western

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21 March 2014 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Very funny and keeps the joke moving well
23 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm not a big fan of narration in films since too often it seems to be a tool to tell the audience what the film isn't able to deliver without help. In this case we have a gunslinger enter a saloon in the ol' West – he does so and is surprised to find that his every thought is being spoken out loud by an unseen voice. The narrator continues this with the others in the saloon, which seems only to increase the tensions and the chance of a balletic shootout of death occurring.

There is really one joke to this short film and it becomes very clear early on what that joke is. Basically we have the narrator talking through everyone's intentions as if he were writing them and providing the context and detail only an author would know. This means the intentions of those in the saloon start to come out – so for example when a character denies planning to kill someone, the narrator adds "he lied" at the end. So this is the joke and looking at the 10 minute running time, I did wonder if it could make it, since I saw that I had 'got it' only 3 minutes in.

Fortunately the film is funny enough and creative enough with the idea that it makes it work for the whole time. The breaking of the genre and fourth wall plays very well as it manages to have its cake and eat it, with a genre heart while the rest break convention in various ways. It helps that it plays it well as a western, with a good feel for the genre and a professional production all round. The performances make the most of the well-written material but it is the unseen Offerman (Parks & Rec) that gets the best of it, and his delivery and timing is really well done (although of course the timing is helped by the edit). Those in the scene play it out well, with comedic performances and generally good delivery of their lines.

It may be one joke but it is a joke that is played with and delivered in a creative and engaging way, making it a funny and entertaining short film with good solid laughs throughout.


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