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Gunman's Walk (1958)

Approved | | Western | July 1958 (USA)
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A powerful rancher always protects his wild adult son by paying for damages and bribing witnesses, until his crimes become too serious to rectify.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Ric Hardman (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Lee Hackett
Tab Hunter ... Ed Hackett
Kathryn Grant ... Clee Chouard
James Darren ... Davy Hackett
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Deputy Sheriff Will Motely
Robert F. Simon ... Sheriff Harry Brill
Edward Platt ... Purcell Avery
Ray Teal ... Jensen Sieverts
Paul Birch ... Bob Selkirk
Michael Granger Michael Granger ... Curly
Will Wright ... Judge
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Storyline

Widower Lee Hackett (Van Heflin), a cattle rancher who is a product of the old west, tries to bring up his two sons, Ed (Tab Hunter)and Davy (James Darren), in his image, but Ed is wild and unruly. The two brothers are both attracted to Clee Chourard ('Kathryn Grant(I)') but she prefers Davy. Ed's efforts to outshine his father and brother and everyone else leads him into a career of a gunfighter, and a confrontation with his father. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlinl.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hear Tab's runaway song-hit "I'm a Runaway" (original print ads) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Slicks See more »

Filming Locations:

Patagonia, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tab Hunter always felt that this was one of his best films because it allowed him to show that he was a talented actor and not just a pretty face. He was also able to use the superb horsemanship he had developed over many years of riding, jumping and working with horses, both recreationally and in competitions. See more »

Goofs

When Lee Hackett leaves town, chasing after his jailbreak son, Ed, he is riding a "right-maned" horse. When he catches up with Ed, he is on a "left-maned" (different) horse. See more »

Quotes

Deputy Sheriff Will Motely: Lee, you and I grew up in our own times - Ed's got to learn to grow up in his, and times have changed!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm A Runaway
by Fred Karger & Richard Quine
Sung by Tab Hunter (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'm A Runaway.
2 July 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Rancher and old school westerner Lee Hackett is determined to mould his two sons in his own tough gun-fighting image. Something that backfires when his eldest boy, Ed, becomes a murderer.

Gunman's Walk on plot synopsis and summaries sounds like your standard B Western fare, and certainly the theme of parental influence is nothing new. But Phil Karlson's film, adapted from Ric Hardman's story, has many things going for it to keep it from being mundane and used solely as a time filler. It fuses together multiple issues, parenting, prejudice and ignorance during a time of change in the old Wild West, it's central character, Lee Hackett (Van Heflin), is seen as the link between old and new.

He has primarily lived his life as a shooter and killer of Indians, something that he is not totally committed to shaking off, but here he is now, a most respected and feared member of the community, faced with his two sons both taking different paths. One, Ed (Tab Hunter), is full of bile and gun slinging machismo, represents the old West. The other, Davy (James Darren), doesn't need a gun to feel like a man, his affection for half Indian Clee Chouard (Kathryn Grant) clearly gives a point of reference to the new West. It gives us two sides of the coin with one Lee Hackett perched firmly on the fence, to which Van Heflin gives an emotionally driven standout performance.

I wouldn't say that Gunman's Walk is undervalued as such (its director most definitely is though), it's possibly more like it's been tarred with that old saying brush called "B Western", a saying that unfortunately some use as being derogatory. Whilst if the truth be told the support to Heflin is rather flat (both Hunter & Darren are average at best). But some average support acting can't stop Gunman's Walk from being an intelligent and potent genre piece. I mean if only for Heflin and the catchy central song, "I'm A Runaway", then you should see this, but as it is, if you give it your undivided attention you hopefully will find it's really rather good and clever. 7/10


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