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The Fastest Gun Alive (1956)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 6 July 1956 (USA)
In the western frontier town of Cross Creek storekeeper George Temple is a polite and soft spoken man with a secret past.When three bank robbers on the lam stop in town to change horses George Temple's past comes back to haunt him.


Russell Rouse


Frank D. Gilroy (screenplay), Russell Rouse (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Ford ... George Temple / George Kelby, Jr.
Jeanne Crain ... Dora Temple
Broderick Crawford ... Vinnie Harold
Russ Tamblyn ... Eric Doolittle
Allyn Joslyn ... Harvey Maxwell
Leif Erickson ... Lou Glover
John Dehner ... Taylor Swope
Noah Beery Jr. ... Dink Wells (as Noah Beery)
J.M. Kerrigan ... Kevin McGovern
Rhys Williams ... Brian Tibbs
Virginia Gregg ... Rose Tibbs
Chubby Johnson ... Frank Stringer
John Doucette ... Ben Buddy
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Lars Toomey
Christopher Olsen ... Bobby Tibbs (as Chris Olsen)
Learn more

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Whenever it becomes known how good he is with guns, ex-gunman George and his wife Dora have to flee the town, in fear of all the gunmen who might want to challenge him. Unfortunately he again spills his secret when he's drunk. All citizens swear to keep his secret and support him to give up his guns forever -- but a boy tells the story to a gang of wanted criminals. Their leader threatens to burn down the whole town, if he doesn't duel him. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WHAT HAPPENS in the next few minutes makes one of the most dramatic climaxes of any story you've ever seen!


Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In the Barn Dance scene you can easily see the barn floor is made from 4x8 ft sheets of plywood which were not made standard in the USA until 1928 and of course a farmer would never have installed expensive plywood as a barn flooring. Plywood was known right after the Civil War in the US but most was used in making curved furniture and some in ship building. See more »


In a street scene, tiny cars moving along a highway can be seen in the background. In another scene, power lines and a pole can be seen. See more »


Clint Fallon: Mr. I don't want to fight! But don't push it!
Vinnie Harold: Mr. Fallon I'm pushin' because I gotta know!
See more »


Referenced in El pobre García (1961) See more »

User Reviews

The Wayward Wind is a restless Wind
25 April 2006 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

**SPOILERS** Very unusual western about a somewhat unstable gunslinger, as well as murderer and bank robber, who's obsession of him being the fasted gun alive makes him a danger not only to everyone that he comes in contact with. Even his own gang of desperado's leave him. Knowing that his mad attempt to constantly prove himself "The Fastest Gun Alive" will make them permanent residents in the Boot Hill Cemetery.

Vinnie Harold, Broderick Crawford, has been out to prove that he's a man among men and does it by proving that he can outdraw anyone in the west. Between bank robberies Vinnie has been trying to find out who's the fastest gun in the west and then challenge him to a draw which in every case he comes out the winner.

On the run with his fellow bank robbers Swope & Wells, John Dehner & Noah Berry Jr, from a sheriff posse Vinnie stops off at a bar in the small town of Cross Creek. Vinnie finds out from little Bobby Tibbes (Chris Olsen) that there's someone in the town, after he bragged about how fast with a gun he is, that's even faster then he is.

This set up Vinnie's mad and insane attempt to draw out, and out draw, the person who's supposed to be faster then him the meek and tea-toting shopkeeper of the town's general store George Temple, Glen Ford. It was Temple who earlier had some kind of mental breakdown. When his deary job of selling clothes and foodstuffs to the towns nagging and annoying locals just got to him. Getting smashed at the local bar George not only started to brag about his own past as rattlesnake-like fast gunslinger George Kelby but proved it by putting two bullets into two silver dollars thrown in the air. Geoge then shot a mug of beer, at a distance of over 50 feet, out of the hand of one of the men in the bar before he could drop it to the ground.

Vinnie wanting to know who this "fastest gun alive" is so he can challenge him to a draw threatens to burn the town down if he, or the townspeople, doesn't reveal himself. By then both of Vinnie's cohorts, Swope & Wells, checked out, not even bothering to take their share of the loot from the bank that they robbed. They know that Vinnies gone completely nuts. As for the people of Cross Creek, who must number at least 200, their so out and out cowardly and intimidated by the crazed gunslinger that they don't even try to rush disarm and shoot him. Instead they leave that all up to the reluctant George Temple to go out in the street and have it out with the volatile and off-the-wall Vinnie Harold.

We and The people of Cross Ceek find out, almost when it's too late, that George Temple AKA George Kelby isn't who they think he is the famous gunslinger George Kelby. Kelby's young son George Jr. Junior has been living with the shame of letting the killers of his dad get away. George during the years has taken over his father's identity but has never drawn a gun in anger on anyone in his life. Even though he's lighting fast with the draw even fasted then his famous dad the late George Kelby Sr. was on his best day.

The really surprising ending of the movie "Fastest Gun Alive" makes it well worth watching as well as makes you forget all the convoluted and confusing sub-plots in the film that seem at times to turn this fairly good western into an armature psychological study.A study of what draws men to violence in order to prove themselves men in the eyes of their acquaintances family and friends as well as themselves.

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Release Date:

6 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fastest Gun Alive See more »


Box Office


$1,383,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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