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The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
is a 1950 American Western film
Western film
starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell
Millard Mitchell
and Karl Malden
Karl Malden
(resuming his film career after a three-year hiatus). This film was directed by Henry King. It was written by screenwriters William Bowers and William Sellers, with an uncredited rewrite by writer and producer Nunnally Johnson, from a story by Bowers and screenwriter and director Andre DeToth. The film was the second of King's six collaborations with Peck.

Contents

1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Background 4 Reception 5 Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Brownsville Girl 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Plot[edit] A young, reckless cowboy named Eddie (Richard Jaeckel) deliberately provokes an argument with the notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo (Gregory Peck), who is widely known as the fastest draw in the West, making him the perpetual target of every young gunslinger eager to become famous as "the man who shot Ringo." When Eddie draws his weapon, Ringo has no choice but to kill him. Eddie's three brothers pursue Ringo as he leaves town, seeking revenge, but Ringo ambushes and disarms them, then drives off their horses, telling them to walk back to town; instead, they follow him on foot. In the nearby town of Cayenne, as Ringo settles into a corner of the largely deserted saloon, barkeeper (Karl Malden) alerts Marshal Mark Strett (Millard Mitchell). Strett is an old friend of Ringo's but nevertheless urges Ringo to leave, since his presence has already created a sensation and it is only a matter of time until trouble occurs. Ringo agrees to go as soon as he sees his wife, Peggy (Helen Westcott), whom he has not seen in eight years, and the son he has never met. Street tells him Peggy has changed her surname to conceal their relationship and has no interest in seeing him. Ringo must deal with Hunt Bromley (Skip Homeier), another young gunslinger keen to make a name for himself, and Jerry Marlowe (Cliff Clark, uncredited), who mistakenly believes Ringo killed his son. A bar girl, Molly (Jean Parker)—another old friend—eventually persuades Peggy to talk to Ringo. Peggy hears Ringo say he is now older and wiser, and wants to leave his gunfighting past behind. He intends to settle in California, where people do not know him, and he wants Peggy to come with him. She refuses but agrees to reconsider in a year's time, if he has kept his word and abandoned his past for good. Ringo meets his son at last, although he does not reveal that he is the boy's father. Ringo's business in Cayenne is finished but he has lingered too long. The three vengeful brothers have arrived and lie in wait. Strett and his deputies intercept and apprehend them. Ringo bids farewell to Peggy and his son, but as he departs the saloon, Bromley shoots him in the back, mortally wounding him. As Ringo lies dying, he tells Strett that he wants it known that he drew on Bromley—that Bromley shot him in self-defense. Bromley protests that he doesn't want Ringo's help but Ringo explains to his killer that he is doing him no favors. Bromley, he says, will soon know how it feels to have every hotshot two-bit gunfighter out to kill him. He will learn, as Ringo did, that notoriety as a gunfighter is a curse that will follow him wherever he goes, making him an outcast and a target for the rest of his life. Strett orders Bromley out of his town, punctuating his order with a beating, which he warns is "just the beginning" of what Bromley has coming. In death, Ringo has finally found what he sought for so long: his wife's forgiveness and reconciliation. At his funeral, as Peggy proudly reveals to the townspeople for the first time that she is Mrs. Ringo, a silhouetted, unrecognizable cowboy rides off into the sunset. Cast[edit]

Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
as Jimmy Ringo Helen Westcott
Helen Westcott
as Peggy Walsh Millard Mitchell
Millard Mitchell
as Marshal Mark Strett Jean Parker
Jean Parker
as Molly Karl Malden
Karl Malden
as Mac Richard Jaeckel
Richard Jaeckel
as Eddie Skip Homeier
Skip Homeier
as Hunt Bromley Kim Spalding as a clerk (his first role, uncredited) Anthony Ross
Anthony Ross
as Deputy Charlie Norris Verna Felton
Verna Felton
as Mrs. August Pennyfeather Ellen Corby
Ellen Corby
as Mrs. Devlin David Clarke as Second Brother Alan Hale Jr.
Alan Hale Jr.
as Brother

Background[edit] Film rights to The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
were originally purchased by Columbia Pictures, which offered the Jimmy Ringo role to John Wayne. Wayne turned it down, despite having expressed a strong desire to play the part, because of his longstanding hatred for Columbia's president, Harry Cohn. Columbia sold the rights to Twentieth Century Fox, where the role went to Peck. Wayne's final film, The Shootist
The Shootist
(1976), is often compared to The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
and contains numerous plot similarities.[3][4] The script was loosely based on the purported exploits of an actual western gunfighter named Johnny Ringo, a distant cousin of the outlaw Younger family and a purported survivor of the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral against Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday
and the Earp brothers.[5] As in the movie, Ringo sought a reconciliation with his estranged family, in California, in 1882; but unlike the film his conciliatory gestures were summarily rejected. After a ten-day alcoholic binge, he died of a gunshot wound, probably self-inflicted.[6] Many of the circumstances and legends surrounding Johnny Ringo's life and adventures have been challenged in recent years.[7] The film was directed by Henry King, the second of his six collaborations with Peck. Others included the World War II
World War II
film Twelve O'Clock High (1949), David and Bathsheba (1951), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Bravados
The Bravados
(1958) and Beloved Infidel
Beloved Infidel
(1959). In the original ending, Hunt Bromley was arrested by the town marshal, but studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck
Darryl F. Zanuck
was enraged at this resolution, so King and Johnson rewrote the final scene.[citation needed] The western street set seen in the film was also used in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), starring Henry Fonda.[citation needed] The studio hated Peck's authentic period mustache. In fact, the head of production at Fox, Spyros P. Skouras, was out of town when production began. By the time he got back, so much of the film had been shot that it was too late to order Peck to shave it off and re-shoot. After the film did not do well at the box office, Skouras ran into Peck and he reportedly said, "That mustache cost us millions".[citation needed] Reception[edit] The film was nominated for a WGA Award for Best Written American Western. Writing for The New York Times, Bosley Crowther noted in his June 24, 1950 review:

"The addicts of Western fiction may find themselves rubbing their eyes and sitting up fast to take notice before five minutes have gone by in Twentieth Century Fox's The Gunfighter, which came to the Roxy yesterday. For suddenly they will discover that they are not keeping company with the usual sort of hero of the commonplace Western at all. Suddenly, indeed, they will discover that they are in the exciting presence of one of the most fascinating Western heroes as ever looked down a six-shooter's barrel."[8]

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Brownsville Girl[edit] Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
referenced scenes from The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
in his song "Brownsville Girl", co-written by playwright Sam Shepard. It appears on Dylan's 1986 release Knocked Out Loaded. Peck paid tribute to Dylan's words when Dylan received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997.[9] See also[edit]

List of American films of 1950

References[edit]

^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1950', Variety, January 3, 1951 ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 223 ^ Roberts, R. and Olson, S. John Wayne: American. New York: Free Press (1995), pp. 121-2. ISBN 978-0-02-923837-0. ^ Hyams, J. The Life and Times of the Western Movie. Gallery Books (1984), pp. 109-12. ISBN 0831755458 ^ Tefertiller, C. Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend. Wiley (1997), pp. 86-90. ISBN 0471189677 ^ Gatto, S. John Ringo: The Reputation of a Deadly Gunman. San Simon (1997), pp. 201-16. ASIN: B0006QCC9U ^ Burrows, J. John Ringo: The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
Who Never Was. University of Arizona Press (1987). ISBN 0816509751 ^ Bosley Crowther (June 24, 1950). " The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
(1950)". nytimes.com.  ^ " Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Honored by Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
with Performance by Dylan". December 7, 1997. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
(film).

The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
on IMDb The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
at the TCM Movie Database The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
at AllMovie

v t e

Films directed by Henry King

Joy and the Dragon (1916) The Climber (1917) The Mate of the Sally Ann
The Mate of the Sally Ann
(1917) Beauty and the Rogue
Beauty and the Rogue
(1918) Powers That Prey
Powers That Prey
(1918) 23 1/2 Hours' Leave
23 1/2 Hours' Leave
(1919) The Mistress of Shenstone
The Mistress of Shenstone
(1921) Salvage (1921) Tol'able David
Tol'able David
(1921) The White Sister (1923) Romola (1924) Sackcloth and Scarlet
Sackcloth and Scarlet
(1925) Any Woman (1925) Stella Dallas (1925) The Winning of Barbara Worth
The Winning of Barbara Worth
(1926) The Magic Flame
The Magic Flame
(1927) The Woman Disputed
The Woman Disputed
(1928) Hell Harbor
Hell Harbor
(1930) The Eyes of the World
The Eyes of the World
(1930) Lightnin' (1930) Merely Mary Ann
Merely Mary Ann
(1931) Over the Hill (1931) The Woman in Room 13 (1932) State Fair (1933) I Loved You Wednesday (1933) Carolina (1934) Marie Galante (1934) One More Spring (1935) The Country Doctor (1936) Ramona (1936) Lloyd's of London (1936) In Old Chicago
In Old Chicago
(1937) Seventh Heaven (1937) Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) Jesse James (1939) Stanley and Livingstone
Stanley and Livingstone
(1939) Little Old New York
Little Old New York
(1940) Maryland (1940) Chad Hanna
Chad Hanna
(1940) A Yank in the R.A.F.
A Yank in the R.A.F.
(1941) Remember the Day
Remember the Day
(1941) The Black Swan (1942) The Song of Bernadette (1943) Wilson (1944) A Bell for Adano
A Bell for Adano
(1945) Margie (1946) Captain from Castile
Captain from Castile
(1947) Deep Waters (1948) Prince of Foxes (1948) Twelve O'Clock High
Twelve O'Clock High
(1949) The Gunfighter
The Gunfighter
(1950) I'd Climb the Highest Mountain
I'd Climb the Highest Mountain
(1951) David and Bathsheba (1951) Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952) The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) King of the Khyber Rifles (1953) Untamed (1955) Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955) Carousel (1956) The Sun Also Rises (1957) The Bravados
The Bravados
(1958) This Earth Is Mine (1959) Beloved Infidel
Beloved Infidel
(1959) Tender Is the

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