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The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Music, Western | 1 September 1967 (USA)
The South is losing the Civil War and the coffers are nearly empty. A group of Confederate spies steals a shipment of gold in San Francisco and attempts to deliver it to a Confederate ... See full summary »


(as Michael Moore)






Cast overview, first billed only:
... Johnny
Sammy Jackson ... Steve
... Flo Chesnut
... Sue Chesnut
... Charlie
... Max
... Stella
... Rink
... Indian Chief
... Joe
Len Hendry ... Deputy
... 1st Indian
Domingo Samudio ... 1st Expressman (as Sam the Sham)
... Emily
... Margie


The South is losing the Civil War and the coffers are nearly empty. A group of Confederate spies steals a shipment of gold in San Francisco and attempts to deliver it to a Confederate general in El Paso. Others know about the gold and seek to steal it from them, but the spies have a secret weapon: a guitar that shoots bullets.... Written by George S. Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America's hottest singing star on the screen at last! (original print ads) See more »


Comedy | Music | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 September 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Violão Heróico  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


There had been plans for Roy Orbison to star in five movies, but after this film proved to be a critical and commercial flop no more were made. See more »


Johnny: Don't move, fella. In case you're interested, I can kill you with this - and play your funeral march at the same time. So just drop the gun.
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Referenced in Roy Orbison: One of the Lonely Ones (2015) See more »


Composed by Roy Orbison and Bill Dees
Performed by Roy Orbison (uncredited)
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User Reviews

There's a reason Rob Orbison didn't become a movie star
2 April 2018 | by See all my reviews

No doubt there were even worse first/last starring roles for music stars, but with his pompadour and not-exactly-Ricky-Nelson looks, Orbison is pretty silly as a chick magnet of the Old West. Plus, his wooden acting (though again, we've all seen worse) makes the absolutely mediocre supporting cast of professional actors look stellar, simply because they're photogenic and confident onscreen.

That said, "Fastest Guitar" is a very mixed bag that nonetheless at least tries for something a little different from the usual Elvis-type vehicle for girls, girls, girls and bad songs. It does have girls (the protagonists travel with a caravan of saloon dancers), and bad songs (hoo man, that "Snuggle Like a Buggle in a Ruggle" number is really the pits), but there's an attempt at an actual plot. What's more, that plot involves Confederate espionage in California towards the end of the Civil War. Of course, the intrigue is pedestrian and the comedy (mostly involving some red-face "Injun" stereotypes) is lame. But the movie has the benefit of being produced by MGM at a time when the studio still had (albeit barely) the resources of a big studio, so despite definitely being a "B," it's slickly produced and decently paced, the dancers can actually dance (if only they had good choreography), and so forth. The TV-veteran director does an uninspired but capable job. The result isn't exactly boring, but it's innocuous in pretty much exactly the way a dead-average episode of "Petticoat Junction" is.

This isn't a good movie, but it's not so bad as to be an unintentional laugh riot--which in a way is unfortunate, because that might have at least made it memorable. It's just an innocuous little product with the novelty of starring a great singer who clearly had no business acting. And one suspects he knew it.

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