A reformed Gunfighter Jimmy Ringo is on his way to a sleepy town in the hope of a reunion with his estranged sweetheart and their young son who he has never seen. On arrival, a chance meeting with some old friends including the town's Marshal gives the repentant Jimmy some respite. But as always Jimmy's reputation has already cast its shadow, this time in the form of three vengeful cowboys hot on his trail and a local gunslinger hoping to use Jimmy to make a name for himself. With a showdown looming, the town is soon in a frenzy as news of Jimmy's arrival spreads. His movements are restricted to the saloon while a secret meeting with his son can be arranged giving him ideas of a long term reunion with his family far removed from his wild past.Written by
Based on the life and exploits of an actual western gunslinger named John Ringo, a distant cousin of the outlaw Younger family. The real Ringo was a ruthless murderer and survivor of the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral, against (Dr.) John Holliday, Wyatt Earp and the Earp brothers. Also unlike the movie's account, the actual John Ringo--his real name--suffered a severe bout of melancholy following a visit to his family in California in July of 1882 and went on a monumental ten-day alcoholic binge, which climaxed when he sat down under an oak tree, drew his gun and used it to commit suicide. See more »
When Jimmy Ringo goes into the hotel room to get the sniper with the Winchester rifle, the lock on the door is just a handle. There is no mechanism to go into the jamb to allow the door to lock. See more »
[to Archie, the boy sweeping up the saloon]
You got a livery stable here, boy?
[just stares at Jimmy Ringo]
Uh, he's a little astonished, Jimmy.
When you get him un-astonished, tell him to take care of my horse.
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The Gunfighter established the trend for mature Hollywood westerns by having the hero be a mature gunfighter who wants to retire in peace, not in pieces. The movie created the line which has been parodied since "everywhere I go, some young punk wants to try me." Using Richard Jaeckle and Skip Homier as the young wanna-be gunfighters was a classic piece of casting, since both of them went on to play similar parts in westerns, although not together. One piece of trivia about this film was that Harry Cohn at Columbia originally had bought the script with the intent of having John Wayne play the lead. Wayne,by now, was a major star, producing his own films. Wayne wanted to do the role, but didn't want to do it at Columbia. As a young actor, he had been treated badly by Cohn who humiliated him after his disastrous first lead in "The Big Trail." Wayne told Cohn in so many words what he could do with his script. The script was then sold to Twentieth Century Fox. Wayne did play a similar role in his final picture, "The Shootist."
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