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Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)

A con artist arrives in a mining town controlled by two competing companies. Both companies think he's a famous gunfighter and try to hire him to drive the other out of town.


Burt Kennedy

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Latigo
Suzanne Pleshette ... Patience
Jack Elam ... Jug May
Harry Morgan ... Taylor
Joan Blondell ... Jenny
Marie Windsor ... Goldie
John Dehner ... Col. Ames
Henry Jones ... Ez
Dub Taylor ... Doc Schultz
Kathleen Freeman ... Mrs. Perkins
Dick Curtis ... Bud Barton
Willis Bouchey ... McLaglen
Walter Burke ... Morris
Gene Evans ... Butcher
Grady Sutton ... Storekeeper


James Garner plays a ladies' man who ends up on the run from a conquest. He has an embarrassing problem that requires a doctor, but that is not immediately disclosed. He and a town barsweep form a plot to impersonate a well-known gunfighter so that Garner can pay off his debts and skip town before the soon to come arrival of the real gunfighter. The cast is almost identical to Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) and the humor is similar. Typical: "You hit him from behind!" Garner: "Just as hard as I could!" Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a man who took the law into his own finger!


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

14 May 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Latigo See more »

Filming Locations:

Newhall, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The train in the opening credits and closing scene is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad sight-seeing train in Colorado. See more »


During the opening credits, a train crosses a steel railway trestle. Trestles in the wild west at that time would have been constructed of wood. See more »


Taylor Barton: [Upon seeing Lat Smith and Jug] Young man, about that job I want you to do...
Latigo: [Annoyed] I told you not to bother me, mister.
Jug: [Eagerly] The man said something about a job!
Latigo: I don't like work. It tires me out.
See more »


References Tall in the Saddle (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

Irreverent Western parody in which a con man stumbles into a gold rush town with two facing factions
8 October 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Riotous as well as delightful Western spoof compellingly directed by Burt Kennedy with entertaining and amusing scenes in which a racketeer decides to go with the mistaken identity and use it to his profitable advantage along with his bumbling sidekick . Deliberately cliché-filled , ironical Western with top-notch starring duo as James Garner as a likable swindler and Suzanne Pleshette as fem-lib daughter and his love interest , both of whom giving great lots of fun . In the old west , a stranger trickster becomes a gunslinger just for the pay , figuring he can decamp if things get tough . The picture starts and finishes with a train (it is the Durango & Silverton narrow-gage sight-seeing train in Colorado) , as it appears in the opening credits , as in closing scenes . The film talks about a con man just passing through who gets roped into being a false gunfighter (James Garner) who at the end meets his nemesis , the real infamous Pistolero named "Swiftie" Morgan (Chuck Connors) , the fastest finger in the west . As when a card player called ¨Latigo¨ comes to the small town of Purgatory , things go wrong ; as one trouble-shooting gambler always puts his finger on it or in it . He has a big problem that requires a doctor (Dub Taylor), but that is not immediately disclosed . In Purgatory two rival companies of miners, led by Taylor Barton (Henry Morgan) and Colonel Ames (John Dehner) , are in a frenetic round-the-clock race to seek "the motherlode" of gold buried somewhere under the town . Meanwhile, Latigo is helped by an inept and botcher outlaw , Jug May (Jack Elam makes a robustly likable characterization with his tongue firmly in cheek) . In the final , he uses ingenuity instead and gets to tame a lawless mining town against all odds .

This wacky spoof is packed with mayhem , lots of silly laughs and great entertainment and fun . Most of the laughters and sight gags galore work acceptably well ; humor is also bold and intelligent with a myriad of imaginative sketches . Demystified Western was one of a group of much-imitated which changed the concept of this particular genre each bent on disproving a popular myth , yet tinged with humor , spoof and combining with anti-heroes , and the inevitable protagonist decadence . Neatly subverts every Western cliché it encounters , yet keeps respect for formula Western . This is a follow-up , not a sequel to ¨Support your local sheriff¨ (1969) also starred by James Garner , Jack Elam and Harry Morgan . The formula deals to enhance the comics observations of the western originated on the decade 60s with the following filmmakers : Andrew McLagen and Burt Kennedy , fine director of this movie , and a bit later on , Mel Brooks directed the indispensable ¨Blazing saddles¨ , a surrealist , extreme and gross-out spoof with the ordinary bunch of loonies and loopies . Burt Kennedy directed similar Western blending comedy such as : ¨Support your local gunfighter (one of his better spoof Western)¨ , ¨Support your local sheriff¨ (his highpoint) , ¨Dirty Dingus Mcgee¨ , ¨War Wagon¨ and ¨ The Good guys and bad guys¨ . The picture is wonderfully amused and enjoyable , with James Garner as a tough gambler in his Maverick image who uses brains as well as brawny and guns . James Edward Grant's screenplay besides having more than its fair scraps of funny lines , throws up rich roles . Thus , James Garner is perfect as the deadpan womanizer who winds up becoming a fake gunman , as he convinces a colleague to carry out several lies among townsfolk . Special mention to Jack Elam as the sympathetic , snide brawler clearly relishing his comic relief . Remaining support cast is excellent , such as : Harry Morgan , Henry Jones , Joan Blondell , John Dehner , Willis Bouchey , Dub Taylor , Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez , Ellen Corby , Gene Evans , Ben Cooper , Kathleen Freeman and Marie Windsor replaced Marilyn Maxwell as "Goldie". Colorful cinematography rightly shot by magnificent cameraman Harry Stradling Jr , Burt Kennedy's usual . Jolly and lively musical score by Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson .

This very funny and amiable motion picture with more than its fair share of laughters was well produced and directed by Burt Kennedy . He initially was screenwriter , his initial effort, ¨Seven men from now¨ (1956), was a superb western, the first of the esteemed collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott. Kennedy wrote most of that series, as well as a number of others for Batjac , although it would be nearly 20 years before Wayne actually appeared in the film of a Kennedy script . In 1960 Kennedy got his first work as a filmmaker on a western, ¨The Canadians¨ (1961), but it was a critical failure . He turned to television where he wrote and directed episodes of "Lawman" (1958), "The Virginian " (1962) and most notably ¨Combat!"(1962). He returned to films in 1965 with the successful ¨The Rounders¨ (1965) with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford , later producing and directing the pilot for the TV series of the same name. ¨Support you local gunfighter¨ results to be one of his best Western . The film will appeal to absurd, unruly , wacky Western comedy fans . This raucous Western spoof is a James Garner vehicle , if you like his particular performance , you'll enjoy this one .

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