A reformed Gunfighter Jimmy Ringo is on his way to a sleepy town in the hope of a reunion with his estranged sweetheart and their young son who he has never seen. On arrival, a chance meeting with some old friends including the town's Marshal gives the repentant Jimmy some respite. But as always Jimmy's reputation has already cast its shadow, this time in the form of three vengeful cowboys hot on his trail and a local gunslinger hoping to use Jimmy to make a name for himself. With a showdown looming, the town is soon in a frenzy as news of Jimmy's arrival spreads. His movements are restricted to the saloon while a secret meeting with his son can be arranged giving him ideas of a long term reunion with his family far removed from his wild past. Written by
Psychological Western with an impressive Gregory Peck
The Western is not my favorite genre. I've seen some of John Ford's classics and many B-Westerns. Of most I can't even remember the titles, but this one is different. It's much more a psychological study, without the grand landscapes, backgrounds or epic story lines. If John Ford's splendid cinematography is not for you, this one cuts back to the basics of human relationships, without the epic adventure many Westerns try to depict.
This film is skimmed down to an absolute minimum with Gregory Peck as Jimmy Ringo, notorious killer and the deadliest shot in the Old West. Though his appetite for bloodletting is over, Ringo is forced to stay on the run from young ambitious gunners determined to shoot him down. After killing an upstart in self-defense, he escapes to the nearby town of Caynenne. There, he hopes to convince his estranged wife (Helen Westcott) to resume their life together, but his arrival causes a sensation. With more young bucks gunning for him, Ringo's fate lies in the hands of the sheriff (Millard Mitchell), his old bandit partner.
With this film the old credo, "less is more", is evident. No great showdowns, not much action, just Gregory Peck in a great character study with carefully built-up tension. He never let me down, giving a fantastic performance, again.
Camera Obscura --- 9/10
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