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Gunsight Ridge (1957)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Crime | September 1957 (USA)
Stage line agent investigates a series of robberies by taking the job of a deputy sheriff in a border Arizona town.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Darlene Fields ...
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Billy Daggett (as Stanford Jolley)
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Hank Moss
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Mrs. Donahue
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Groom
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Bride (as Cindy Robbins)
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Storyline

The latest of a series of stagecoach holdups in the Arizona Territory takes place on a stagecoach in which Mike Ryan, undercover agent for the stage line, and Molly Jones, daughter of the local sheriff, are passengers. The bandana masking one of the robbers slips and he is killed by the gang-leader Velvet Clark. The latter masquerades as a respectable piano-playing citizen of the community. The townspeople are aroused enough over the continued robberies that they ask Sheriff Tom Jones to resign but they agree to give him more time when he takes on Ryan as a deputy. Circumstantial evidence leads the sheriff to Clark, but the latter kills him and escapes. Ryan tracks him to Gunsight Ridge where there is a showdown gunfight. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Only One Would Leave Gunsight Ridge Alive! (original poster)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

September 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Tale of Consequence  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the final scene where McRae is talking to the girl you can see a car drive by in the background. See more »

Quotes

Lawman at Railroad: You wouldn't think those cowboys would tree a town like that.
Mike Ryan: Must have been devil drunk. A high hangin' to them.
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Soundtracks

Gunsight Ridge
Performed by Dean Jones
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User Reviews

 
Late B&W B Western
28 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

Other posters are right to mention this film's formal qualities—strong acting, excellent b/w cinematography, and poignant touches like the villain's piano interludes and Carolyn Craig as the farm girl—along with the film's historical status as a late specimen of the B western film when television was chock-a-block with shoot-em-ups.

This transitional historical moment gives Heartbreak Ridge a hybrid quality, as it combines the movie western's intensity and depth of character with the TV western's bare staging. The script itself could hardly offer less to work with, with the back-stories for the hero and villain being provided only by Joel McCrea's Irish affectations and Mark Stevens's 2 or 3 lines about having the talent to play the piano but not the money or leisure. "Gunsight Ridge" is a good title, but if like me you wait in westerns for at least some allusion to explain a title, for this one you have to wait until someone casually mentions a border obstruction that will provide the setting for the final showdown.

The western in any medium is always fairly minimalist—the more I've watched, the more words seem only pauses in action, landscape, and music. Given such plain fare, skill matters more than brilliance: for instance, Joel McCrea could ride a horse, and the cinematographer knew how to capture his skill. Cameo bonus: the groom in the quirky border town marriage is the late Jody McCrea, who would play the comic Bonehead in early 60s surfing-beach movies with Annette and Frankie.


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