the gunfighter

released: 1950

directed by: Henry King


written by: David Botros


What I loved most about this old-school western might sound a little silly but it’s true, and it’s simple:

The story.

Jimmy Ringo, fastest gun in the west, is tired of outgunning everyone else.

If it weren’t for his murder count, he’d be a likable guy …

Which he is.

Gregory Peck, who plays Ringo, has the old Hollywood charm of a leading man.

You can’t help but respect his confidence in the toughest of situations.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when this Robert Ford type kid confronts Ringo in a saloon.

He’s trying to rattle him, start a fight, but Ringo just sits back and tells him he’s had a gun pointed at him the whole time (a precursor to the Inglourious Basterds basement pub).

It’s only when the kid leaves that we see he was just filing his nails beneath the table.

I guess what I meant by loving the story is that Henry King doesn’t rely on flashy scenes or a heavily imposing style to carry the film;

In simply letting everything play out in front of the camera as if we were mere spectators to the reality of the situation, I found myself genuinely invested.

Plus, the movie is less interested in the coolness of the outlaw as it is with his forbidden desire to see his family one last time.


An oldie but a goodie.

Copyright © 2021 David Botros