6.9/10
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Wichita (1955)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 3 January 1956 (Italy)
In 1874, after noticing the total lawlessness in Wichita, Wyatt Earp reluctantly accepts the Marshal's job and runs into the worst local troublemakers.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writer:

Daniel B. Ullman (story and screenplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Joel McCrea ... Wyatt Earp
Vera Miles ... Laurie McCoy
Lloyd Bridges ... Gyp Clements
Wallace Ford ... Arthur Whiteside
Edgar Buchanan ... Doc Black
Peter Graves ... Morgan Earp
Keith Larsen ... Bat Masterson
Carl Benton Reid ... Mayor Andrew Hope
John Smith ... Jim Earp
Walter Coy ... Sam McCoy
Robert J. Wilke ... Ben Thompson (as Robert Wilke)
Jack Elam ... Al
Mae Clarke ... Mrs. McCoy
Walter Sande ... Clint Wallace
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Storyline

Former buffalo hunter and entrepreneur Wyatt Earp arrives in the lawless cattle town of Wichita Kansas. His skill as a gun-fighter make him a perfect candidate for Marshal but he refuses the job until he feels morally obligated to bring law and order to this wild town. Written by Losman <losman@express-news.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There was Shane...There was High Noon..and now the memorable story of another man of courage whom fate decreed should meet the terrible furies of an untamed land (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1956 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Vičita See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,400,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Allied Artists Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Sam Peckinpah played a bit part as a bank teller. See more »

Goofs

When the cowboys are shooting up the town a streetlight in the foreground is shot out. It's not a gas lamp, but contains an incandescent light bulb, despite it not being invented yet. See more »

Connections

Featured in The First Texan (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Wichita
Music by Hans J. Salter (as Hans Salter)
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Tex Ritter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Kansas Law Dog!
2 January 2016 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Wichita is directed by Jacques Tourneur and written by Daniel B. Ullman. It stars Joel McCrea, Vera Miles, Wallace Ford, Edgar Buchannan, Lloyd Bridges and Keith Larsen. It's filmed in Cinemascope/Technicolor with cinematography by Harold Lipstein and music by Hans J. Salter.

Wichita is an origin story, that of one Wyatt Earp (McCrea), the story is set before he gets to Dodge City, where apparently some famous gunfight occurred. From a narrative stand point it's a town tamer story, Earp arrives in a newly thriving Wichita, at this point he's a hunter of buffalo only. But as the cowboys converge on the town, and things turn very dark, Earp - a bastion of good and just righteousness - finds it impossible to continue in turning down the town superior's offers of becoming the town Marshal.

It's one of those Western movies that made Western movie fans become Western movie fans. A film you would have watched as a youngster and just bought totally into the good guy against the baddies central core. Of course as youngsters we wouldn't have cared a jot about thematics such as capitalism ruling over common sense, or metaphysical leanings ticking away, all while a genius director is composing shots and frames of great distinction. Hell! Even the intelligence and maturity in the writing would have escaped us, the dark passages merely incidents of no great concern...

Wichita is damn fine film making. OK! It isn't wall to wall action. Sure there is a good round of knuckles, a bit of trench warfare and the standard shoot-outs, but these are just conduits to smart and compelling human drama, richly performed by McCrea (brilliantly cast) and company. Tourneur, Ullman and Lipstein make sure there is no waste on the page or via location framing, the costuming authentic and pleasing, and of course the story itself, the set up of the iconic man himself, is as compelling as it is splendidly entertaining.

It be a traditional Western for the traditional Western fan. Nice! 8/10


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