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Author Topic: Gunman's Walk (1958)  (Read 561 times)
titoli
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« on: October 24, 2016, 07:16:04 PM »

An interesting reworking of common themes: the imposing father, the moron son and the Abel one. Opening titles tune whistled, great open space shots, a brothel scene (can't remember if there are other '50's western featuring one). The father's personality is rich and it has logic but that goes to detriment of the idiot son's one, that makes little sense with his murder streak. Heflin is very good and so, I presume, must have been Hunter (but I saw a dubbed version). 7/10

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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2016, 12:13:08 PM »

Watched this in a theater in 2008. Here was my take at the time:
Gunman's Walk (1958) - 4/10. Van Heflin plays a cattle-ranch patriarch with two very different sons: a dark, gentle boy (James Darren), and a blond hot-head (Tab Hunter). Van Heflin refuses to curb the latter--in fact, acts as his enabler--until the situation escalates to murder. The final showdown is between father and son. Great performance by Heflin, which no one else in the film can match. Also some great outdoor scenery (in color and CinemaScope!), but unfortunately, too much of the film takes place in "town" (ie. on sets).

If I saw it again I might rate it higher.

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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2016, 01:02:37 PM »

That's a pretty low rating. At least a 7 for me

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Moorman
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 05:35:06 PM »

I rate it a 7 out of 10.  It was interesting to see Van Heflin technically playing a bad guy in this one. 

« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 05:38:15 PM by Moorman » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 06:39:29 PM »

I rate it a 7 out of 10.  It was interesting to see Van Heflin technically playing a bad guy in this one. 

I agree with you, a very solid 7/10

I'm A Runaway.

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 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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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 06:22:57 AM »

I agree with you, a very solid 7/10

I'm A Runaway.

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 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

Pretty good review of this movie. It may be called a B movie, but its better than a lot of A westerns.  Like your review said, if Hunter and Darren were more forceful (better) actors, this would've really stuck out in Hollywood...

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AlamoScout210
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 11:15:36 AM »

I finally saw this one for the first time a few months ago and is now one of my top 20 favorite all time westerns. Van Heflin is one of my favorite western stars and here he delivers a strong  and  commanding performance. The story is somewhat of a rehash but the dramatic tones and tragic consequences up the notch from standard fare. I also think being a father myself that gut wrenching ending really hit home.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 11:36:58 AM »

I finally saw this one for the first time a few months ago and is now one of my top 20 favorite all time westerns. Van Heflin is one of my favorite western stars and here he delivers a strong  and  commanding performance. The story is somewhat of a rehash but the dramatic tones and tragic consequences up the notch from standard fare. I also think being a father myself that gut wrenching ending really hit home.

Yep, big Heflin fan here as well, great range. I'm pretty sure a number of his films would be in my top 100 for sure, with certainly 3:10 To Yuma - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050086/reference and The Raid - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047388/reference in the top 50.


Good to see you here mate  Afro Afro

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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 11:47:55 AM »


Good to see you here mate  Afro Afro

thanks spike!  Afro

any of the other fellas make it over here?

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 12:26:35 PM »

thanks spike!  Afro

any of the other fellas make it over here?

Waiting to see, in truth there was only about half a dozen of us who I think we can say were serious Western fans on the IMDb board, same with the Noir boarders (who have made it over and post in the Off Topic section here).

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