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Author Topic: Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)  (Read 8110 times)
cigar joe
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« on: March 10, 2007, 08:43:03 PM »

Watched this film on TCM in letterbox and all the way through for once.  Previously I've watched this film in Pan & Scan on AMC and all I'd seen before and more than once was about from the part when Kirk Douglas rides into the town of Gun Hill, so, I realize now basically that I really was judging it as more of a town bound film when its more balanced. Directed by John Sturgis its probably his second best Western, he filmed this right before "Mag 7" (which is #1), and its way better that "Gunfight at the OK Corral" which was pretty bad except for LVC's short scenes at the beginnig. Other Sturgis Westerns are "Hour Of The Gun" with James Garner which is decent though has some slow areas, and Joe Kidd which is ehh for an Eastwood Western.

This film is probably along with "Lonely are The Brave" Kirk Douglas's best Western, He's been in a few over the years but he's not always convincing in all of them (overacts) or the storylines are poor . Anthony Quinn is the cattle baron defending his wayward son, Carolyn Jones plays a female card sharp who is estrangled from Quinn and helps Douglas. What I never saw before was the great locations at the beginning of the film that run about 3/4 of the way through. The town set was in Old Tucson and it looked great.

Quinn's accent was a little bit off to my ear for some reason that I can't put a finger on.

Again this film could be really jazzed up for a great remake, a little more of everything, more graffic violence, more blood, more "R" rating, better score.

Its an entertaining film though for 1959 and was worth the watch, no memorable score al la Mag 7 but not jarring either. Got some nice train shots also if you like trains.

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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 08:45:35 PM »

I enjoyed this movie, but I still think it's nothing more than mediocre. That's just my opinion.

This film wouldn't have been good if the two main actors had not been in it.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 09:14:13 PM »

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I enjoyed this movie, but I still think it's nothing more than mediocre.


I thought that too before I watched it all the way through, its way better that a lot of really mediocre Republic oaters of the 30's & 40's which air on AMC at about 6AM on Saturday mornings, man are those bad, really unwatchable, so I wouldn't go quite that strong, lol.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2007, 01:49:13 PM »

It's really just a variation on 3:10 to Yuma, which is better. Joe is right about the location work, though, which provides a lot of visual interest. And lately I've been thinking that Old Tucson was the inspiration for Flagstone.....

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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 03:34:56 PM »

Douglas was good in There Was a Crooked Man too.

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 04:32:29 AM »

Watched this again last night, WOW that old Tucson set must have been fantastic, so much details in the street scenes. You get the impression from the way it was shot that the town had depth, much more than one main street with buildings on either side. It looked like it had fully developed side streets. I liked the way the tracks just ran down the main drag of town, too bad a lot of it (40%) burned down in 1995, even the "Reno" the steam locomotive featured in the film (it actually hauled President Grant) was severly damaged in the blaze.

Noticed a few more details too this time around the time period had to be close to late 1890's the sheriff's office in "Gun Hill " has a hand crank wall telephone.

BTY it was also turned into a theme park

« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 04:43:46 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 01:42:59 PM »

Watched this again last night, WOW that old Tucson set must have been fantastic, so much details in the street scenes. You get the impression from the way it was shot that the town had depth, much more than one main street with buildings on either side. It looked like it had fully developed side streets. I liked the way the tracks just ran down the main drag of town . . .
The set is the only thing the film has going for it.

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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 02:18:00 PM »

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How is 'Lonely Are the Brave'?

  One of the best westerns set in more recent times I've come across in quite awhile.  Kirk Douglas is perfectly cast as a cowboy who just can't go along with the changing times in the 1950s/early 60s.  It's really a shame the movie isn't available on DVD, the black and white movie would look great I'm sure.  The only reason I've seen it is because TCM airs it every once in awhile, including airings coming up in April and May.

 Well worth checking out, and one of Douglas' best roles, if not THE best. Afro

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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2008, 04:29:12 PM »

"Lonely Are the Brave" is great agreed.

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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2008, 08:01:56 PM »

Thanks guys, I will check it out on TCM.

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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 12:02:41 PM »

One of my favourite westerns, finally watched the dvd. I have reservations only on the awful Tiomkin's OST (making you wish all the time Morricone had started 10 years earlier) and Douglas' performance: good, expecially for him, but not that good. Jones' (she is one of my favourite american actresses) shows how a woman's role can fit into a western without being obtrusive and help the plot moving (and the scene between her and Quinn is one of the most effective in the entire genre among those played by a woman and a man). Sturges, in my book, ranks with the great ones. Yes, CJ, this is good stuff for a remake. 8\10.






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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 09:30:37 PM »

LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL 7.5/10 .... the story is nuthin special; but i absolutely LOVED the production design; both the interiors and the towns. and Kirk Douglas is always great

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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 09:31:15 AM »

The plot has the same problem that 3:10 to Yuma has--real men don't cede the initiative to train timetables.

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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 12:13:28 PM »

The plot has the same problem that 3:10 to Yuma has--real men don't cede the initiative to train timetables.

did you want him to walk back home?

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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 01:50:10 PM »

No. If it's essential that they take the train, they don't have to wait for it. They can move toward it and flag it down, or, possibly a better choice in this case, move out of town the opposite way and flag down the train after it goes through town. In either case the lawman and his charge get away from the dangerous town and move to more defensible terrain. And the bad guys lose the initiative.

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