Gunsmoke in Tucson is directed by Thomas Carr and written by Paul Leslie Peil and Robert Joseph. It stars Mark Stevens, Forrest Tucker, Gale Robbins, Vaughn Taylor, John Ward, Kevin Hagen, Gail Kobe and William Henry. A CinemaScope/De Luxe Color production, music is by Sid Cutner and cinematography by William Whitley.
As young boys, two brothers, Jed (AKA: Chip) and John, witness their father being hung by a vigilante gang. Chip, angry and bitter, grows up to be an outlaw and leader of the feared Blue Chip Gang. John goes the other way and becomes a U.S. Marshal. Two brothers on opposite sides of the law, destined to become embroiled in an Arizona range war between cattlemen and farmers.
Pretty formulaic stuff here but performed and constructed admirably. Plot machinations revolve around the hopeful salvation of Stevens' outlaw, but as he tries to leave his Blue Chip Gang past behind him, he finds himself being set up by shifty land baron Ben Bodeen (Taylor). Joining the "two brothers on each side of the law" axis are threads involving religion, political power games and testosterone lowering in the form of twin lovelies Lou Crenshaw (Robbins) and Katy Porter (Kobe), with Robbins as a sultry saloon gal getting to warble the tune "I Need a Man". Location photography is pleasing (Santa Clarita, Tucson and Chatsworth), Cutner's musical score is robust and appropriate and the final shoot-out/stand off is a good un'. 6.5/10
Very familiar western plot, but well worth watching. Two young brothers witness the hanging of their father and are forced to grow up on their own. One becomes a sheriff and of course the other an outlaw. Good enough to keep your interest.
Cast includes Forrest Tucker, Mark Stevens, Gale Robbins and Bill Henry.
This a tough, no frills, violent western with more shootouts than usual. It tells the story of two brothers, John( Forrest Tucker) who is obsessed in keeping the law and Chip (Mark Stevens) who is more human but also on the wrong side...Stevens is in love with Lou (Gale Robbins) who sings at the saloon and their love scenes are very passionate. There is a great shootout where John is alone against a bunch of marauders but is able to defend himself thanks to a Winchester (who knows a 73?). Mark Stevens' performance is too heavy, pessimistic lacking the "full of life" character shown by Paul Engle the actor who portrays him as a child. The big boss is Ben Bodeen (Vaughn Taylor) who ended up with Chissum's fortune and is set upon driving the farmers away from the land. Jown Ward is Slick Kirby, the ideal good friend. This film is surprisingly ignored, considering how good it is.
Same old story coupled with confusing characters - one with the highly unlikely name of Blue Chip. Sodbusters versus Cattlemen but not very convincing. Script seems to be written by 7 graders and acting, except for Forest Kelly, is wooden. I watched this movie because it was filmed in Old Tucson (movie set) and surrounding area which is where I grew up about this same time. Photography is representative and good. Nothing else is.
I saw this western many years ago having already read the book "Tucson!" on which it was based. It stuck pretty close to the book's story of two brothers finding themselves on opposites sides of the law. In truth, Mark Edwards was probably a little too old to play the younger brother but the performances were good throughout. For me and my friend who saw it separately the film was dominated by the character Slick Kirby, played by John Ward. He seemed at the time the coolest person in the film, the younger brother's best friend,one of the fastest guns in the West and the archetypal laconic gunfighter. Ward doesn't appear to have made any other westerns which is surprising, neither did he play many starring roles. Also surprisingly, this appears never to be shown on TV, nor is it out on video or DVD, yet I remember it as an enjoyable oater. The shoot-out at the end was particularly well done.
"Cast a Long Shadow" director Thomas knew something about westerns. He helmed episodes of "Gunsmoke," "Laramie," "Bonanza," "The Virginian," and "Wanted: Dead or Alive." "Cast a Long Shadow" wasn't the only western that he directed for the big-screen. He called the shots on at least ten oaters with Sunset Carson as the leading man. "Gunsmoke in Tucson" is a predictable, standard-issue sagebrusher with one surprise during the finale. A sturdy enough cast and an adequate amount of gunplay keeps things interesting in this old-fashioned, formulaic horse opera. Mark Stevens as Jedediah (Chip) Coburn and Forrest Tucker as John Brazos play grown-up brothers whose father swung from a noose before they went their separate ways as adolescents. Tucker stands on the side of law and order, while Stevens is a reformed horse rustler who wants to start a cattle ranch in Tucson. Eventually, Tucker becomes a U.S. Marshal and he puts his brother behind bars at one point. Later, after he has gotten out of prison, Coburn decides to relocate to Tucson and plans to buy some land from a wealthy cattleman named Chissum. Before he can make good on his deal with Chissum, Coburn learns that Chissum has died and another man, Ben Bodeen (Vaughn Taylor of "The Professionals") has intervened on behalf of the cattlemen. Bodeen is willing to stir up trouble to keep the sodbusters from acquiring any of Chissum's estate holdings. Marshal Brazos (Tucker) gets an opportunity to interfere with the subsequent cattlemen versus the sodbuster fight. Ostensibly, Brazos has ridden into Tucson to arrest his brother for shooting down a hardcase, Hondo (George Keymas) in a saloon. Little does Brazos know that his brother acted in self-defense. Before they can reconcile themselves with each other, Brazos proves that he is no slouch with a gun. He shows up in time to defend a sodbuster's farm from Bodeen's marauding henchmen who had planned to burn the vulnerable farmer and his family out. Initially, the opposition packs smoking pistols, and our hero doesn't prefer to challenge them because they are dirty, low-down, treacherous dastards. Richard Reeves, cast as villainous Notches Pole, represents a prime example of a memorable Hollywood western desperado. Reeves' gritty owlhoot comes up with a slick trick to bait the unsuspecting town lawman, Sheriff Blaine (William Henry) into drawing on him so that he can claim self-defense when he shoots the peace officer down in the middle of the street. Nevertheless, Coburn doesn't invite himself into the first for at least the first half of the action. He behaves rather like Humphrey Bogart did in "Casablanca" where he remained neutral until forces beyond his control prompted him to take a stand in the action. Several plug-ugly nasties show up to stand alongside the greedy chief villain that Vaughn Taylor plays with relish. "A man is only given one chance to be big in this life, and I'm not going to let it slip through my fingers," says Taylor at one point. Forrest Tucker delivers an unusual performance of amazing restraint as Stevens' brother. The two are at loggerheads throughout the action. The big showdown in Tucson ties up all the loose threads. Vaughn Taylor makes an okay villain. William P. Whitley's widescreen, color cinematography is a definite asset. Actual location lensing in old Tucson adds to the authenticity of this B-movie saga. Nothing special as far as westerns are concerned, but fans of Stevens may find it tolerably-entertaining.