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Author Topic: Fastest Gun Alive (1956)  (Read 3620 times)
cigar joe
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« on: October 29, 2006, 06:03:05 PM »

Watched this the other day Dir by Russel Rouse staring Glen Ford, Broderick Crawford, Jean Crane, Noah Beery Jr..

Vinne Harold (Crawford) a portly bulldog of a gunfighter is "the fastest gun alive" in the opening sequence like a growling dog he calls out another fast gun for a showdown in the street. He wins shooting his rival Fallon through the neck, they leave and  Vinne and his gang eventually ride into another town and rob a bank a posse is organized and heads out after them.

Near another town called Cross Creek we see George Temple (Glen Ford) practicing with a six gun shooting at targets. When he's done he hides away the gun & holster in a rag and rides his buckboard back to town where he hides the weapon from his wife in the back of his general store. Later some townfolk gather around the wood stove in the store and one of them recounts the Vinne Harold gunfight he witnessed, telling the eager listeners all the details. George gets agitated and tells them to get out he doesn't want to hear any  gunfight stories.

Later George enters the saloon and hears the same gunfight story again with everyone putting in their two cents on gunfighting. George gets into an argument with the locals, then pissed off, he heads back to the store and retrieves his gun and returns to the saloon wearing his gun. He tells them they don't know what they are taking about and proceeds to give them the lowdown on gunfighting and tell them his real name is George Kelby Jr. and that his father taught him everything he knows and that he's faster than Wyatt Earp, and Billy the Kid & he's the fastest gun alive.

He proves it to his disbelieving neighbors by shooting two silver dollars in the air. He tells them that he changed his name to prevent challengers from gunning for him. He is now determined to leave Cross Creek but a few of his friends ask the town folk to swear to keep his secret

Anyway Vinne Harold & gang show up and a kid who is playing with the holed silver dollars gives away the secret and there is a confrontation. There are also a few plot twists that I haven't mentioned

Its ok not great, a bit too psychological and melodramatic but that was the nature of the animal in those years, reminded me of Day of Anger.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 06:08:10 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 07:11:13 PM »

One of my favorite Ford movies.  Broderick Crawford could truly be  a bad hombre.  Another  Ford movie  I like is  The Last Challenge with Chad Everett.
Ford was very fast with a gun in real life.

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titoli
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2006, 04:42:27 AM »

About fastness, I was struck by a trick with both guns made by Charlton Heston (of course, uh?) in Pony Express.

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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 06:30:35 PM »

As contrived a plot as can be, with scenes so moronic (the swearing in church) or artificial (the Ford's drunkenness and ineptness at selling) that makes you wanna turn off the player. Anyway there's a good scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdAvEOt-l_I

Watchable once. 6\10

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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 12:27:05 AM »

I liked this movie a lot, I give it an 8/10

This is definitely a deconstruction of the gunfighter myth. I enjoyed it very much, except that I didn't like how they went for the happy ending. I really liked seeing those two graves side by side, George Kelby killed by Vinnie Harold/ Vinnie Harold killed by George Kelby. I was unhappy when it turns out that he's really alive and they're gonna live happily ever after.
I guess that Kelby didn't have to die since he never really did anything wrong, and therefore he doesn't have any sins to pay for; but I just loved those side-by-side graves, I was just so disappointed when I saw that Kelby was still alive (which I guess is the opposite effect that a happy ending is supposed to have  Wink )

That church scene remind anyone of High Noon?

Russ Tamblyn is indeed terrific in that dancing scene that titoli linked to above; and I also noticed that the camera cuts very few times during that scene, so it looks like Tamblyn is really doing much of it straight, rather than having it pieced together.

Glenn Ford is always good. Broderick Crawford was good here as the crazy gunman. I like Noah Beery, but I just can't see him as a bandit. Jeanne Crain is always lovely.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 12:33:28 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 02:30:26 AM »

The Tamblyn dance scene is good in itself, but totally out of place in this grim looking film.

Fastest Gun Alive is a typical film in which there is too much meaningful dialogue which tries to explain what the film is about. And the "psychological" aspects are too much on the surface. Not bad, still entertaining. 5/10

p.s. John Dehner is pretty good.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 02:26:15 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 05:09:35 PM »

I finally watched this in its entirety and this was very disappointing. I knew coming in that it would be a bit pretentious, but the amount of subtext in the dialogue was ridiculous (like Stanton said) and this just felt more like TV due to the cheap looking sets, the bland direction and the subject matter being built around who is the fastest draw. I didn't really buy it.

Ford had an insanely good (and overlooked) run with Westerns in the mid to late 50s (3:10 to Yuma, Jubal, Cowboy, The Violent Men, The Sheepman) but this wasn't one of them, to me anyway.


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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 02:37:06 PM »

I loved this movie.  I watched this on TCM, so i didn't know what to expect. Here goes:

Cinematography- black and white. Loved it. The set pieces were very good. 1 point.

Music - Fit the tone and mood of the film. 1 point.

Acting- Glen Ford, Leif Erickson, John Dehner, etc. They had a slew of stars in this one and everyone of them were fantastic. 2 points.

Plot- The best part. spoiler alert. Ford plays the obvious, fastest gun alive cowboy.  The spin is he is REALLY afraid of a real gunfight. Also, like the Gregory Peck movie, The Gunfighter, emphasis is placed on the egotistical nature of cowboys wanting to know "who is the fastest"... The plot gets 2 points.

Directing- Russell Rouse did a fanstastic job with this. 2 points.

I rate this 8 out of 10 overall...

« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 02:38:56 PM by Moorman » Logged

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