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Gunman's Walk (1958)

Approved | | Western | July 1958 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer
A powerful rancher always protects his wild adult son by paying for damages and bribing witnesses, until his crimes become too serious to rectify.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Ric Hardman (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Lee Hackett
Tab Hunter ... Ed Hackett
Kathryn Grant ... Clee Chouard
James Darren ... Davy Hackett
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Deputy Sheriff Will Motely
Robert F. Simon ... Sheriff Harry Brill
Edward Platt ... Purcell Avery
Ray Teal ... Jensen Sieverts
Paul Birch ... Bob Selkirk
Michael Granger Michael Granger ... Curly
Will Wright ... Judge
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Storyline

Widower Lee Hackett (Van Heflin), a cattle rancher who is a product of the old west, tries to bring up his two sons, Ed (Tab Hunter)and Davy (James Darren), in his image, but Ed is wild and unruly. The two brothers are both attracted to Clee Chourard ('Kathryn Grant(I)') but she prefers Davy. Ed's efforts to outshine his father and brother and everyone else leads him into a career of a gunfighter, and a confrontation with his father. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlinl.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLISTERING RAW DRAMA! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Slicks See more »

Filming Locations:

Patagonia, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Following his first wife Dixie's death in 1952, Bing Crosby dated numerous Hollywood starlets, invariably young enough to be his daughters. Texas Beauty Pageant Queen Kathryn Grandstaff, born in 1933, became Bing's second wife In October, 1957. Kathryn Grant, her new actress name, after she was introduced into the Hollywood film industry, via the Beauty Pageant circuit, winning a "Beauty Queen" title; winning a pageant reward policy, a publicity tour-package which included, visiting the Hollywood Film Studios. First meeting Bing Crosby, while he was filming his interior scenes for the movie "Little Boy Lost" in February, 1953; after visiting a Gower Gulch's Paramount Pictures Studio sound stage, Kathryn Grant became one of Bing's younger date pool harem starlets. Kathryn was thirty (30) years younger than 52 year old Bing Crosby and not a Catholic, although she would eventually convert. Bing first proposed to her in November 1954. Bing told her that he expected to live only another ten (10) years. She accepted anyway, after which she did not hear from Bing again for nearly two months. In December Kathryn phoned Bing and Bing suggested they get married February 7, 1955. Bing postponed the wedding after an attack of kidney stones required surgery. The wedding was rescheduled for May 13th. Bing didn't show on that day either, but phoned on the 14th to cite film work and business dealings as the need to postpone the wedding until September 10th. On September 7th, Bing announced that a "complication" in his life necessitated postponing the marriage again. This "complication" may have included an unrequited affair with Grace Kelly, while filming the MGM romance-comedy "High Society." Grace Kelly, whose interest in Bing was shifting to Prince Rainier of Monaco. The Prince was twenty (20) years Bing's junior and just as wealthy. Rainier and the future princess met in May, 1955, and announced their engagement the following December. Bing and Kathy next set their wedding date for March 17, 1956. Bing again postponed the event to have eye surgery. The wedding was rescheduled for September, but Bing once again backed away. Part of Bing's reluctance to marry Kathryn may have been that his mother did not approve of the marriage. During the next few months Kathryn matched Bing's cold feet with her cold shoulders. In the meantime Bing had an affair with 23-year-old Inger Stevens, his co-star in "Man on Fire," apparently leading her to believe he would marry her. In July 1957 Kathryn left for Spain to film "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." They agreed not to speak until she returned in September. When she returned to Hollywood, Kathryn wrote to Bing that she still loved him but no longer wished to marry him. Bing wrote her in October that he was miserable without her and begged to see her. Kathryn demurred. On October 22 Kathryn received one more letter from Bing, begging her to marry him and including his phone number for response. Through her aunt, Kathryn arranged to marry Bing in Las Vegas, Nevada. At last Kathryn's ordeal was over. Bing and Kathryn said their vows on October 24, 1957. See more »

Goofs

When the Sheriff and Purcell Avery go to the doctor's to question Mr Sieverts, the office door is locked. The doctor unlocks the door to let them in and then locks it again once they're inside. As they leave, the doctor pulls the door open - without unlocking it first. For that to happen, the door would have to be a prop that was never locked in the first place. See more »

Quotes

Lee Hackett: Times don't change in this country where you breed a man soft. Without any spirit, a man's like a horse: if he don't buck the first time you put a saddle on him he ain't worth having - you know that!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm A Runaway
by Fred Karger & Richard Quine
Sung by Tab Hunter (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'm A Runaway.
2 July 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Rancher and old school westerner Lee Hackett is determined to mould his two sons in his own tough gun-fighting image. Something that backfires when his eldest boy, Ed, becomes a murderer.

Gunman's Walk on plot synopsis and summaries sounds like your standard B Western fare, and certainly the theme of parental influence is nothing new. But Phil Karlson's film, adapted from Ric Hardman's story, has many things going for it to keep it from being mundane and used solely as a time filler. It fuses together multiple issues, parenting, prejudice and ignorance during a time of change in the old Wild West, it's central character, Lee Hackett (Van Heflin), is seen as the link between old and new.

He has primarily lived his life as a shooter and killer of Indians, something that he is not totally committed to shaking off, but here he is now, a most respected and feared member of the community, faced with his two sons both taking different paths. One, Ed (Tab Hunter), is full of bile and gun slinging machismo, represents the old West. The other, Davy (James Darren), doesn't need a gun to feel like a man, his affection for half Indian Clee Chouard (Kathryn Grant) clearly gives a point of reference to the new West. It gives us two sides of the coin with one Lee Hackett perched firmly on the fence, to which Van Heflin gives an emotionally driven standout performance.

I wouldn't say that Gunman's Walk is undervalued as such (its director most definitely is though), it's possibly more like it's been tarred with that old saying brush called "B Western", a saying that unfortunately some use as being derogatory. Whilst if the truth be told the support to Heflin is rather flat (both Hunter & Darren are average at best). But some average support acting can't stop Gunman's Walk from being an intelligent and potent genre piece. I mean if only for Heflin and the catchy central song, "I'm A Runaway", then you should see this, but as it is, if you give it your undivided attention you hopefully will find it's really rather good and clever. 7/10


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