Story of theatrical troupe that travels through the Old West.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screenplay), Walter Bernstein (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophia Loren ... Angela Rossini
Anthony Quinn ... Thomas 'Tom' Healy
Margaret O'Brien ... Della Southby
Steve Forrest ... Clint Mabry
Eileen Heckart ... Mrs. Lorna Hathaway
Ramon Novarro ... De Leon
Edmund Lowe ... Manfred 'Doc' Montague
George Mathews ... Sam Pierce
Edward Binns ... Sheriff Ed McClain
Warren Wade Warren Wade ... Hodges
Frank Silvera ... Santis
Boyd Holister Boyd Holister ... McAllister (as Robert Palmer)
Leo V. Matranga Leo V. Matranga ... Gunslinger #2
Cal Bolder ... Goober
Taggart Casey Taggart Casey ... Gunslinger #1
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Storyline

Nineteenth century Wyoming: the wild West. Mild-mannered Tom Healy has a two-wagon theater troupe hounded by creditors because Angela, his leading lady and the object of his affection, constantly buys clothes. In Cheyenne, they meet with applause, so they hope to stay awhile: the theater owner likes Angela, and she keeps him on a string. She's also the object of the attentions of Mabry, a gunslinger who's owed money by the richest man in Bonanza. Complications arise and the troupe heads for Bonanza, through hostile Indian territory. Is the troupe doomed to a peripatetic life, is Mabry in danger, and does Tom stand a chance with Angela, a hellion in pink tights? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her Lady Godiva act started the excitement that couldn't be stopped! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On Paramount's huge Stage 16 the art directors built three adjacent sets of the interiors of a frontier theatre, saloon and gambling casino. The theatre had three hundred working gaslights, a full-sized stage with a treadmill, tiers of box seats and a horseshoe-shaped balcony. See more »

Goofs

When Mabry is pursuing the wagons, shots of him from the front show his shadow going uphill to the right of screen. Shots of the wagons from the front show their shadows going to the left of the screen. This would indicate that they are going in opposite directions. See more »

Quotes

Thomas 'Tom' Healy: [upon being kissed by Angie] Is that for something you did, or something you're gonna do?
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Devil Doll (1997) See more »

User Reviews

 
A blonde Sophia... and a surprisingly effective story
15 September 2008 | by kirksworksSee all my reviews

Director George Cukor's only western, this is about a traveling stage show that keeps getting into trouble because of the escapades of their leading star, Angela Rossini, deliciously played by Sophia Loren, quite fetching as a blonde. She is top billed along with Anthony Quinn. It also stars an adolescent Margaret O'Brien (a child in "Meet Me in St. Louis"), whose mother does not want her to grow up.  I thought O'Brien was as charming in this as she was in "St. Louis."  

I had never seen "Heller" in its complete form, never in any quality print, and this DVD looks great.  I'd only seen edited for TV versions, and that made it hard to follow.  Seeing this DVD release surprised me.  The film is top notch Cukor, ranking as one of the most entertaining westerns of the 1960s. The director also got a full- blooded and emotional performance from Loren, perhaps one of her most natural, and the director even held the reins on Quinn, who could overdo his roles on occasion.

Actor Steve Forrest also has a well-integrated part, and his character appears at just the right moments to thrust the story forward or change its direction.  Ramon Novarro (Judah in the silent "Ben-Hur," opposite Garbo in "Mata Hari") appears on screen for the last time, effectively playing a conniving banker.  If you go into this film with an open mind, I think you'll find that it is funny, exciting, romantic and often surprising. I never knew where it was going, and that made it refreshing. You'll probably also enjoy the wonderfully visualized period atmosphere in stunning Technicolor. There's also a fine score by Daniele Amphitheatrof, a far too unappreciated composer.

Give this film a try. You'll probably have a good time.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heller with a Gun See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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