7.3/10
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Warlock (1959)

Passed | | Western | April 1959 (USA)
A famous gunman becomes the marshal of Warlock to end a gang's rampages, but is met with some opposition by a former gang member turned deputy sheriff who wants to follow only legal methods.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Robert Alan Aurthur (screenplay), Oakley Hall (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Widmark ... Johnny Gannon
Henry Fonda ... Clay Blaisedell
Anthony Quinn ... Tom Morgan
Dorothy Malone ... Lily Dollar
Dolores Michaels ... Jessie Marlow
Wallace Ford ... Judge Holloway
Tom Drake ... Abe McQuown
Richard Arlen ... Bacon
DeForest Kelley ... Curley Burne (as De Forest Kelley)
Regis Toomey ... Skinner
Vaughn Taylor ... Henry Richardson
Don Beddoe ... Dr. Wagner
Whit Bissell ... Petrix
Bartlett Robinson ... Buck Slavin
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Storyline

In the small frontier mining town of Warlock, rancher Abe McQuown's gang of cowboy cutthroats terrorize the peaceful community, humiliating the town's legitimate deputy Sheriff and running him out of town. Helpless and in need of protection, the townsfolk hire the renowned town tamer Clay Blaisdell, as unofficial Marshal, to bring law and order to the town. Clay arrives with his good friend and backup Tom Morgan. The two men stand up to the ranch gang and quiet the town. Johnny Gannon, a former member of the ranch gang is bothered by the gang's actions, reforms and takes on the deputy Sherrif job while his brother remains part of the gang. The addition of the official lawman to the mix further complicate matters, leading to an inevitable clash of the cowboys, the townsfolk, the gunslingers and the law. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wherever you've been... Whatever you've seen... You've never run into anything like Warlock.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shoot Out at Warlock See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,706,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Dmytryk later denied that the gay subtext was intentional. See more »

Goofs

Before the shootout with Billy, Morgan sees Calhoun and fires once to stop him, with the second shot heard coming from Calhoun's rifle. All of the other gunshots heard or seen were from the participants of the shootout. After the shootout, someone says Calhoun was shot three times, once in the throat and twice in the chest. Morgan says he aimed all three shots at his chest. He could not have shot him three times since he only fired once. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Gannon: He just saved your life, Billy! I wonder why...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pastewka: Die Strategie der Schnecke (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
by Stephen Foster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Avoids Cliché
23 November 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Complex psychological western. I like another reviewer's point about the conflict between law and order in the film. Only Widmark's Gannon appears concerned with enforcing law in addition to order, while the rest of the town is more concerned with simply order. Fonda's Clay Blaisdell stands as the pivotal character, a morally ambiguous gunslinger with a dubious past. The mutual attachment between him and sidekick Morgan (Quinn) is highly unusual for a macho western. As hired gunslingers, they're a formidable team. However, it turns out that Clay is stuck in the risky business as long as he and Morgan remain together. On the other hand, Morgan's definitely unhappy with Clay's budding relationship with blonde Jessie (Michaels). It's likely that Morgan uses their hired status to keep them together, as the ending appears to show. I expect casting the macho Quinn in what amounts to a suggestive role was no accident.

The 2-hour runtime is pretty well filled as the various undercurrents and conflicts play out. Viewers who cotton to dramatic showdowns should love this screenplay, which has at least four. Surprisingly, it's hard to predict who will be involved, a tribute to the screenwriter. Overall, it's an unusual oater that doesn't follow genre formulas. On the downside is a lot of talk, plus complexities-- especially the characters' backstories-- that at times are hard to follow. Nonetheless, the three leads are excellent, especially an emotional Quinn, along with a supporting cast of familiar 50's faces. So, for western fans, the movie's well worth snagging despite its relative obscurity.


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