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
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 »
The oddly named WARLOCK (the name of the unincorporated town in which the story takes place) pits aging gun-for-hire Henry Fonda against a gang of yahoos who have run off Warlock's deputy sheriff and killed a barber in cold blood. To complicate matters, town resident Richard Widmark, whose brother (Frank Gorshin) is one of those yahoos, agrees to replace the missing deputy sheriff and this pits him against Fonda, who is not an official officer of the law. Making matters worse is the arrival of Fonda's lifelong friend, played by Anthony Quinn, who runs a traveling saloon and is in cahoots with the bad guys. Widmark holds his own against the ever-stoic Fonda, and Quinn plays a really complex character with physical and mental problems who has shared a woman with Fonda (Dorothy Malone) and has awfully strong feelings toward Fonda. And I don't mean Jane. The film takes awhile getting anywhere, but you can play spot-the-character actor during the more boring moments. The cast is a veritable who's-who of old-time Western character actors, and the movie was made during a (mercifully) short-lived period where Hollywood was churning out big-budget, color, widescreen (and sometimes 3-D) flicks to try to compete with the latest home technology, television. At the time, Hollywood believed TV would hurt box office receipts. A lot of these films -- but not WARLOCK -- weren't worth the film they were printed on. And as we now know, TV only whetted the appetite of many viewers for more movie-going. I just saw the Cinemascope-shot WARLOCK presented on AMC in the antique pan-and-scan method rather than more modern letterbox format, which made for some very awkward sequences where not everyone fit on screen at the same time. Try to catch this on DVD instead.
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