Gunfighter Rick Martin returns to his hometown of Casper, Wyoming to learn of the fate of his mother and to warn the town of an impending raid by the Tom Quentin gang. The townspeople however reject him, afraid that his gunslinging past will cause new trouble. Rick learns that his mother did not die of illness but was murdered, and he comes to suspect the town's leading citizen -- a man now engaged to marry the woman Rick loves.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For a B Western, Top Gun provides top entertainment and makes a more-than-adequate contribution to its genre.
The initial conflict uses the basic premise of the Western: lone male figure, having been subjected to privation and now alone and searching for spiritual peace, finds the ultimate show-down when confronted with evil, which he tries to set right -- despite the all-powerful forces of law and nature which try to stop him. The situation -- that a top gunman is revisiting his home town to warn the citizens of a raid by the very gang he used to belong to -- is set up quickly and convincingly, even uniquely -- in a graveyard. The ensemble cast of veteran actors works well to create the tension necessary to convey a well-crafted and believable script. Sterling Hayden exudes gravitas, if not exactly charm, and his masculine presence is undeniable, nearly coming off the screen, as it does in all his films. The sets are well-constructed, and the camera work is consistent and well-planned, if not exactly subtle. The script even provides a few memorable one-liners, as when John Dehner (the heavy) gleefully tells Sterling Hayden, "Rick, you ole catamount, may you live until I kill you."
For Western fans, a gem; for Sterling Hayden fans, a treat (as the camera lingers on both his lumbering body and his rugged face for much of the film); and for cinephiles, a well-worth it adventure.
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