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Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

A marshal tries to bring the son of an old friend, an autocratic cattle baron, to justice for his role in the rape and murder of the marshal's Native American wife.

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Les Crutchfield (story "Showdown"), James Poe (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Marshal Matt Morgan
Anthony Quinn ... Craig Belden
Carolyn Jones ... Linda
Earl Holliman ... Rick Belden
Brad Dexter ... Beero
Brian G. Hutton ... Lee Smithers (as Brian Hutton)
Ziva Rodann ... Catherine Morgan
Bing Russell ... Skag
Val Avery ... Steve, Horseshoe Bartender'
Walter Sande ... Sheriff Bartlett
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Storyline

The wife of marshal Matt Morgan is raped and murdered. The killers leave behind a distinctive saddle, that Morgan recognises as belonging to his old friend Craig Belden, now cattle baron in the town of Gun Hill. Belden is sympathetic, until it transpires that one of the murderers is his own son Rick, whom he refuses to hand over. Morgan is determined to capture Rick and take him away by the 9.00 train; but he is trapped in the town alone, with Belden and all his men now looking to kill him. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The mightiest double-barreled excitement to blaze across the screen ! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1959 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Last Train from Harper's Junction See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal B. Wallis bought Les Crutchfield 's story in March 1954 and planned it as a possible starring vehicle for Charlton Heston or Burt Lancaster. See more »

Goofs

On its way to Gun Hill, the train has four cars. By the time it reaches the station, there are only two, and the baggage car is a different one than before. See more »

Quotes

Linda, Craig's Girl: Oh, and if any of the girls try and tell you how wonderful you are, don't believe them. I know. I used to deal there.
[she gets up]
Linda, Craig's Girl: Just like Jimmy - stobborn as a mule!
Marshal Matt Morgan: Next time you see Jimmy, say hello. We seem to have a lotr in common.
Linda, Craig's Girl: Maybe more than you know. He's dead!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Bhavani Junction (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Polly Wolly Doodle
(uncredited)
Attributed to Dan Emmett
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent classic western with too little attention
22 January 2006 | by keuhkokalaSee all my reviews

Some say Rio Bravo, some the Searchers, some Shane for some reason. Everyone has an opinion about what the greatest 'classic' western (before the '60s when Leone and Peckinpah broke the old myths) is. I would have said High Noon for a while ago. Then I was home last evening, at a very cold and snowy winter day. I thought to look at a movie from TV and didn't care much what they were showing. It happened to be this masterpiece. And I was awe-struck.

The story tells about a sheriff (Kirk Douglas), whose Indian wife and a mother to his child is raped and murdered. He goes on to find the men who did it to the town of Gun Hill and finds out that the other of the men is the son of his old friend (Anthony Quinn). He has in time become the most powerful man of Gun Hill and won't let his son to be taken to the court for his actions.

This is a quite daring one for a fifties western. There's some blood and nudity here. And most of all, the sides aren't black and white, but rather shades of gray. The movie's most potent message is that you can't take a life, even a criminal, because there will be people who were close to him and his death will hurt them worse. Every life is valuable.

Kirk Douglas is good in the lead role. He bottles most of his emotions in, as probably anyone in his situation would. Better is Anthony Quinn, who essentially has to decide between his son and his best friend. He portrays anger, fear, anxiety and hopelessness great.

This became my favorite classic western. it's not Once Upon a Time in the West, but I loved to see so mature themes in such an old movie. It looks great too, they had wonderful set builders then.

***** The Best Part: The showdown at the Gun Hill railway station


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