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At Gunpoint (1955)

Approved | | Western | 25 December 1955 (USA)
The peace-loving owner of a general store, who became a town hero when he luckily killed the leader of a gang of bank robbers, is deserted by the townspeople who fear the threatened return of the vengeful bandits.

Director:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)

Writer:

Daniel B. Ullman (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Jack Wright
Dorothy Malone ... Martha Wright
Walter Brennan ... Doc Lacy
Tommy Rettig ... Billy Wright
Skip Homeier ... Bob Dennis
John Qualen ... Livingstone
Whit Bissell ... Clem Clark
Irving Bacon ... Al Ferguson
Jack Lambert ... Kirk
John Pickard ... Alvin Dennis
James Griffith ... The Stranger (Bob Alexander)
Harry Shannon ... Marshal MacKay
Frank Ferguson ... Marshal George Henderson
James O'Hara ... Wally (as James Lilburn)
Harry Lauter ... Federal Marshal
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Storyline

The Dennis gang wants to rob the bank of the sleepy peaceful town of Plainview, Texas. Small town banks like this one have less money than large city banks but they're easy prey. Barlow, the gang's contact in town, assures them that Plainview only has an old marshal, Pete MacKay, who shouldn't pose any problem. The gang heads to Plainview. In town, storekeeper Jack Wright runs his store with wife Martha and brother-in-law Wally. Marshal MacKay and doctor Lacey are playing chess inside the store. Jack Wright makes his daily deposit at the bank and then returns to the store. The Dennis gang arrives and robs the bank, killing a teller and the alerted marshal. In the street, storekeeper Jack Wright picks the dead marshal's gun up and shoots fleeing robber Alvin Dennis, from a great distance. Townsman George Henderson finishes Alvin off with a shotgun. The bandit drops the loot and the bank recovers it. The townsfolk proclaim Jack Wright and George Henderson to be heroes. Storekeeper Jack ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

STARTLING as looking down the barrel of a loaded gun! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gun Point See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Artists Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joel McCrea was originally cast as Jack Wright. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Bob Dennis is practicing aiming and firing his gun]
Alvin Dennis: You're sure itchin' to use that thing again, ain't ya?
Bob Dennis: Never hurts to be ready.
Alvin Dennis: You're always ready. Put it away.
Bob Dennis: You're nervous, huh?
Alvin Dennis: Yeah, well, I wouldn't be if it wasn't for you.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
no myth of the west, but also no High Noon
1 May 2012 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

Who saw Alfred Werker 's two remarkable westerns "The Last Posse" and Three Hours to Kill" will not be deceived by "At Gunpoint", which basically has the same story as High Noon, but in a totally different style. And the difference in style is huge; High Noon used the myth of the west, from the cinematography to the hero and the ballad, everything was keyed to what we would expect in a standard western, but this time done better. Werker, on the opposite, uses a realistic style, his hero is a shopkeeper who just wants to live a decent life. He is no Wiil Kane. By showing typical town people, their fears, and their decisions when faced by a crisis, Werker manages to make a good western, without the clichés of the fifties. But he throws down the drain the beauty of the myth of the West. We can adapt John Ford's theory and say "When the legend is bigger than the truth, film the legend" and wonder if Werker would have followed he would not have improved the film. But he also might have ruined it.. You will enjoy At Gunpoint as long as you don't compare it to High Noon.


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