2016 Reviews · Classic · movie · TCM

TCM 31 Days of Oscar – The Gunfighter

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

I’ve challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. And I’m going to be focusing on the movies I haven’t seen yet, with maybe just a few rewatch movies.

Here is my 12th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.

The Gunfighter

The Gunfighter

8 out of 10 stars

1950 Western film. Starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell, Karl Maden and Jean Parker.

The 360° Game: stars off with The Adventures of Don Juan starring Helen Westcott, and she was in The Gunfighter with Gregory Peck who was in the next film, Marooned.

And the Oscar does not go to… Nominated for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story: William Bowers and André De Toth

Short Synopsis: Upstarts challenge the fastest gun in the West, a haunted man (Gregory Peck) trying to escape his reputation. (85 mins.)

The Gunfighter

My Thoughts: Gregory plays a role that I wasn’t used to seeing him as, a meen Gunfighter. Although I’d be meen to everyone too if wherever I went someone wanted to kill me. The movie also built more character to the rebellious gunfighters and made them more human. As for Gregory Peck’s mustache, I think it fit his character. According to Wikipedia, the head of production at Fox, Spyros P. Skouras was not impressed.


A note before I start watching this… why I chose this movie… I recorded it along with 2 other movies for Friday. Gramps chose the movie. We watched it Friday night but I didn’t have the time to post this till the next day.


The Play by Play Thoughts

The Gunfighter

0:00 Gregory Peck as the Gunfighter. It opens up with Gregory Peck following a path in the desert. Is he chasing someone? The opening music and the footprints he’s following at an empty desert area sure suggests that.

The Gunfighter

0:02 “A long, lean Texan named Ringo” The real fastest gunfighter is apparently not Wyatt Earp or Doc Hollywood or Jesse James, but John Ringo. I mean Jimmy Ringo. Although John is the real-life gunfighter that this movie is loosely based on. The same John who is associated with the James-Younger Gang.

And here I thought this Western film was going to be similar to The Shootist. For a moment I even wondered if these two movies was related to the Shootist book like the John Wayne movie was adapted. But The Gunfighter is more original.

The Gunfighter

0:05 “How come I’ve got to run into a squirt like you nearly every where I go these days? What are you trying to do? Show off for your friends?” Looks like Jimmy can’t even stop at a saloon with some young hot shoot (like Eddie) who wants to prove that they’re better than him, along with some family members seeking revenge too.

Eddie: “He don’t look so tough to me.”
Bit Part: “Well if he ain’t so tough, there’s been an awful lot of sudden natural deaths in his vicinity.”

The Gunfighter

0:10 “He’s headed straight for Cayenne.” And now we must wonder what’s so special about Cayenne if Jimmy’s willing to set the three brothers free to follow him by foot (and horse but he won’t know that).

Jimmy: “What was I supposed to do, stand there and let that little boy shoot me full of holes?”

0:15 Marshal Mark Strett & Peggy. He’s doing more than just looking after the town’s safety, but also Jimmy’s woman, Peggy, and son, Peggy. Are they an item? Or as they say, is the Marshal just being sweet on Peggy? Or does he really just want Jimmy to leave his town and all it’s people in peace? Well, within a few moments there’s a crowd of men and boys outside the saloon wanting a look at the infamous Jimmy Ringo. And he also has to worry about those “squirts looking for a name for themselves” – Hunt Bromley being top of that list of squirts.

Ellen Corby The Gunfighter

0:25 “That murderers sitting over in that saloon like he was an honored guest or… or something” Mrs. Devlin and all the other gossiping Ladies. They of course go to the town’s main story to gossip. And now thanks to these ladies Jimmy Ringo has to worry about Jerry Marlowe, a man wanting revenge for his son. Even if no one is sure that Jimmy Ringo did or did not kill his son, Jerry’s still going to try to kill Ringo for revenge. Even if he did kill only 12 people in his life, Jimmy Ringo has to worry about the squirt and a man seeking revenge at almost every town he goes to.

0:33 “Well didn’t he… didn’t he leave you anything?” – Jimmy. “Mmm-hmm. A horse a saddle, two guns and $15 dollars.” – Molly A foreshadow to what happens to a Gunfighters woman, she becomes a saloon singer and is left with barely anything from the guy. And the Gunfighter, well Molly’s man Bucky got shot in the back of the head. At a deserted alley.

0:35 Tick Tock. Despite even knowing he is behind schedule and has stayed in Cayenne for too long, he’s still waiting to see if his woman Peggy will come and see him. And that ominous clock in the saloon is ticking away how much time he has left. Before Eddie’s three brothers comes into town that is. Tick tock.

The Gunfighter

Hunt Bromley, played by Skip Homeier. And it’s just a coincidence that that squirt Hunt Bromley just so happened to have been some of the squirts that made a pass at Peggy, and tried to tell her that she couldn’t take care of herself. And the next scene after the conversation between Jimmy and Molly is non other than Hunt Bromley riding into town for a hair cut. And just like Eddie, the squirt from the other town, Hunt asks if Jimmy Ringo has two hands.

Jimmy Ringo: “You’re Hunt Bromley, ain’t ya?”
Hunt Bromley: “Yeah… you heard of me already?”
Jimmy Ringo: “Yeah, I heard about you. I heard you’re a cheap, no-good bar-room loafer. If I didn’t have somethin’ else on my mind I’d take them guns away from ya and slap ya cross-eyed.”

The Gunfighter

0:44 Molly’s turn to try to convince Peggy to see Jimmy. At least Peggy was able to get her son away from the saloon. It’s curious why the other parents didn’t do the same, unless they’re gawking at the saloon windows to see Jimmy too.

Peggy: “How different?”
Molly: “The way Bucky was different that last year. You know, not wild anymore. Just sorry.”
Peggy: “And what good did it do Bucky?”
Molly: “None, I guess.”

0:45 “How’d you like to see Ringo and Wyatt Earp square off at each other?” – Card Player. Another hint of the battle at the OK Coral.

0:47 “Either I’m gonna lock you up in a cell until he’s gone, or you’re gonna get out of town for the rest of the day.” – Marshal Strett to Hunt Bromley. A foreshadow to the Alternate Ending where the Marshal does lock up Hunt Bromley.

0:50 Toughest guy Jimmy’s ever seen.

Deputy Charlie: “Who would you say was the toughest man you ever saw?”
Jimmy: “I’ll tell you the second toughest: Bucky Harris.”
Deputy: “You ever tangle with him?”
Jimmy: “No of course not. Bucky was my friend.”

The Gunfighter

0:57 “I am Mrs. August Pennyweather.” And she is the leader of those gossiping Ladies. And it was funny the way the Ladies realized who they were talking to – Jimmy.

“I’m just a stranger here myself, ma’am. But if you was to ask me, I’d say hold off for an hour. Don’t do anything that might start trouble until, say, half past 10:00. If he ain’t gone by then, then let the Marshall go to work on him.”
“Shoot him down like a dog?”
“Exactly, ma’am.”

1:20 The Gunfighter role being passed down. A good finish. Jimmy at least got to have the last say.

Hunt: “You don’t have to do me no favors pappy.”
Marshal: “Keep your mouth shut!”
Jimmy: “If I was doing you a favor… I’d let ’em hang you right now and get it all over with. But I don’t want you to get off that light.”

1:27 And another lone Gunfighter riding into the desert. And we’ve gone full circle now.

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