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.
Alfred L. Werker
John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »
A young cowboy, whose dedication to the principles of peace and reason has earned him a reputation for cowardice, overcomes his psychological aversion to violence after his elder brother unjustly censures him for not joining in a foolhardy gunfight in which their youngest brother is killed.Written by
This is one rather unusual western with themes explored that are not normally reserved for western films. Gun For A Coward did come out in the Fifties the decade when the western finally did become adult.
Fred MacMurray, Jeffrey Hunter, and Dean Stockwell are the Kehoe Brothers who have the local Ponderosa spread courtesy of their father. Unlike the Cartwrights the Kehoes still have their mother Josephine Hutchinson still living with them.
MacMurray is the older and most sensible brother and he's in charge of the place. The youngest is Dean Stockwell who's a hotheaded kid. It's the middle brother Jeffrey Hunter. He's the one that mom kind of reserved for her own. The frontier life isn't for him, she wants him to go east possibly take up the law as a profession.
Hunter as per mom's raising always tries to talk his way out of all situations. That doesn't always work and older brother MacMurray is forever trying to both explain him and figure him out and younger brother Stockwell is impatient with his pacifism. Is Hunter really the coward of the family?
Some of the situations that normally come up with Ponderosa owners who are the good guys come up in this film. It's how they're dealt with and the attitudes expressed that are what makes Gun For A Coward a different kind of western.
One I think you'll enjoy.
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