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Author Topic: The Gunfighter (1950)  (Read 9732 times)
JoeH
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« on: March 19, 2005, 11:28:30 AM »

A few days ago I saw The Gunfighter (with Gregory Peck) for the first time. And I really love this movie! The story is exciting and critical, the characters are well designed and the atmosphere is very nice. In my opinion TGf is as great as High Noon, although it's not very well-known.
What do you think? Can The Gunfighter keep up with High Noon?

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JoeH
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 12:47:13 AM »

And why do you think that? I mean the film ciritcizes the society, because all the citizens of the town don't want to help him, although he was the guy who brought them peace. I think you could even go deeper and interpret that as a reference to historical events. Another point in High Noon that's really outstanding and great is the fact that the time in the film corresponds more or less exactly to the real time that passes when you watch it. That creates an extraordinary tension. Beyond that the design of Gary Cooper's character is brilliant. He doesn't know what he should do (escape or stay) and when he decides he has doubts about what he decided.

I think these are the aspects that make High Noon so special and in my opinion it's NOT overrated Wink

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 05:04:26 AM »

I saw The Gunfighter recently on AMC it was a good film sort of portrayed Wild Bill Hickock's problems to a small extent. Unfortunately the film was Pan & Scan and the effect made it look grainy.

I definitely agree with Leone's position that female storylines and actresses slowed down the pace of a lot of good 40's & 50's Hollywood westerns.

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JoeH
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 05:20:33 AM »

You're absolutely right, cigar joe. In most of the old westerns (and not only old westerns) where women play a more or less important role, they are annoying. They're not really part of the story they're only an additive to make the film more romantic and commercially successful. Leone knew how to avoid making this flaw as we can see in Once Upon a Time in the West where Jill is not only a beautiful, well-behaving object, but an interesting individual.

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Groggy
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2005, 06:48:56 AM »

I'm not a big fan of "High Noon" either, derringdo.  It's good but one of the best Westerns ever?  No way.  I personally prefer "Rio Bravo", if only because it's fun rather than trying to bog us down in allegorical hoo-ha.

I've not seen "The Gunfighter", despite having many chances to do so.  Shame on me.

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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2005, 10:37:09 AM »

And why do you think that? I mean the film ciritcizes the society, because all the citizens of the town don't want to help him, although he was the guy who brought them peace. I think you could even go deeper and interpret that as a reference to historical events. Another point in High Noon that's really outstanding and great is the fact that the time in the film corresponds more or less exactly to the real time that passes when you watch it. That creates an extraordinary tension. Beyond that the design of Gary Cooper's character is brilliant. He doesn't know what he should do (escape or stay) and when he decides he has doubts about what he decided.

High Noon was actually (loosely) an allegory for the HUAC blacklist - the towns citizens represent Hollywood, Cooper represents the blacklisted actors - the townfolk's behaviour is an allegory for the lack of solidarity in Hollywood during the blacklist. But like I said it was only a loose allegory - there are several themes going on just like in pretty much every film.

Just a few points on why I think High Noon is deservedly a classic. Aside from the use of real time, there are a number of ways Zinnemann builds up the tension - those shots of clocks. At the start of the film they're in the background and our attention isn't drawn to them. As the film progresses they get closer and closer until we have them filling the screen in the last few minutes.

The use of deliberately over-exposed film gives the picture a stark, stifling look. A feeling of menace is generated with the three gunmen lounging around at the station. It's also brilliant the way Frank Miller is talked about throughout the movie, and this image of him as a monster is built up, but we don't even see him onscreen til the last ten minutes.

I do agree there is a some clunky dialogue though.

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Groggy
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2006, 04:50:55 PM »

I saw "The Gunfighter" today and I thought it was rather good.  I'd have to see "High Noon" again to compare it, but I enjoyed the film.  Gregory Peck was amazing and it was fun to see a young Karl Malden, as a likeable character, yet. Tongue I'd recommend it, 8/10.

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2006, 04:22:24 PM »

I'd like to see The Gunfighter. I saw it was on yesterday, but I wound up watching Enter the Ninja with Franco Nero on another channel. Grin

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2006, 08:31:42 PM »

I saw "The Gunfighter" today and I thought it was rather good.  I'd have to see "High Noon" again to compare it, but I enjoyed the film.  Gregory Peck was amazing and it was fun to see a young Karl Malden, as a likeable character, yet. Tongue I'd recommend it, 8/10.
In retrospect, both High Noon and The Gunfighter seem like long TV episodes. Good TV episodes, to be sure, but not as interesting as more complicated movie Westerns.

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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2006, 07:44:40 AM »

I can see how you say that Dave but I think there is more to High Noon and The Gunfighter then that. I keep on harking on about a great noir called The Set Up with Robert Ryan which follows the same pattern as High Noon but that definatly needed the film medium to carry it off due to the cinematography and sound design like High Noon and The Gunfighter. I feel that films like these do lose quite a bit of impact when they are seen on the small screen compared to that of the large silver screen. These are just my opinions.

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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 06:29:28 PM »

One of the most perfect, paradigmatical AW's ever. Only thing I don't like is the actress playing Peck's  wife (all characters are harping on how beautiful she is, but to me she looks quite plain and nothing a Johnny Ringo would be losing his sleep for) and the finale in the church: was there any need for it ?

SPOILER

Expecially after the original way Peck's demise is expedited. The logical finale would have been to see how the murderer takes Peck's place.(BTW I can't see who's the rider in the last shot: the murdere or Peck?)

Anyway an infinitely much better finale than High Noon's. Peck and Mitchell are huge. 9\10

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stanton
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 02:10:22 AM »

Unfortunately the film was Pan & Scan and the effect made it look grainy.


The film was made in 1,33:1, so the p&s is just right. In this years (early 50s) the only used aspect ratio.

I have a friend who is permanently complainig about films on DVD or TV not to be in 2,35:1. But most of them are presented in the correct format of 1,33:1 or 1,78 or 1,85:1. He simply complains without checking.

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stanton
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2008, 02:17:15 AM »

In retrospect, both High Noon and The Gunfighter seem like long TV episodes. Good TV episodes, to be sure, but not as interesting as more complicated movie Westerns.

You may complain about High Noon as a pretentious film, but to compare such a brillantly directed film with the often simply made TV episodes, is a bit funny. Both TG and HN are really directed, and they should be seen on a big screen.

Btw what are "complicated movie westerns" in comparison to those 2?

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cigar joe
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 04:33:07 AM »

To me everything on AMC seems pan and scanned I get to expect it,  Afro, it may have just been the print, it just didn't seem as clean sharp as it should be.

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Groggy
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2008, 06:36:27 AM »

To me everything on AMC seems pan and scanned I get to expect it,  Afro, it may have just been the print, it just didn't seem as clean sharp as it should be.

Fox Movie Channel shows this one every once in awhile in OAR, so keep an out on there. (I don't recall though if this movie was a widescreen or full screen)

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