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The fastest gun in the West tries to escape his reputation.
In the 1880s, Jimmie Ringo, a gunfighter reputed to be the fastest in the Southwest, is minding his own business in a saloon when a cocky young man named Eddie, who is showing off in front of his friends, challenges him. Weary of killing, Jimmie tries to avoid the confrontation, but Eddie draws on him and Jimmie is forced to shoot him. Having heard that Eddie had three brothers, Jimmie quickly leaves town. As feared, the brothers trail Jimmie, but he gets the jump on them in the desert, chasing off their horses, then heads for the town of Cayenne. There Jimmie meets Mac, the owner of the Palace Bar, who tips off the local marshal, Mark Strett, that he is in town. Jimmie is delighted to see Mark, an old friend and former outlaw, but is surprised to learn that he is now a lawman. Although Jimmie assures him that he means no trouble, Mark asks him to leave town after he has eaten. Jimmie explains that has come to Cayenne to see his estranged wife, Peggy Walsh, and son Jimmie, Jr., who live nearby. At first, Mark is reluctant to help Jimmie locate Peggy and Jimmie Jr., whose relation to Jimmie is not known to the townspeople. When Jimmie insists on seeing them, however, and tells Mark that the brothers who are after him might cause a lot of bloodshed in the town, Mark agrees to tell Peggy that he is at the saloon. On his way to the school where Peggy teaches, Mark tells his deputy, Charlie, to take Hunt Bromley, Peggy's would-be suitor, into custody. After Mark returns to the saloon and informs Jimmie that Peggy does not want to see him, Jerry Marlowe, a local resident who thinks that Jimmie killed his son, hears that the gunfighter is in the saloon. An armed Marlowe lies in wait for Jimmie, but before he can shoot, his wife knocks the gun off target and Jimmie retreats back into the saloon. As Jimmie is about to leave, he runs into Molly, another old friend, who is working as a singer there. The recently widowed Molly lets slip that Peggy is the local schoolteacher and tells Jimmie about Bromley's interest in Peggy. Later, while Molly tries to persuade Peggy to see Jimmie, Bromley learns that Jimmie is in town and, seeing him as a way to quickly acquire a reputation, goes to the saloon. However Jimmie bluffs him and throws him out. The three brothers, meanwhile, finally reach a ranch on foot, and borrow horses and guns from the owner. Back in Cayenne, Peggy locks Jimmie, Jr. in his room to stop him from seeing Jimmie, then is persuaded by Molly to see Jimmie. After Mark stations Charlie in the saloon with a loaded shotgun to scare off potential troublemakers, Jimmie spots Marlowe's rifle across the street and goes after him. Jimmie captures Marlowe, then after denying that he killed his son, takes him to the marshal's office. As he locks Marlowe up, a group of righteous women comes in to complain to the marshal about Jimmie's presence in the town. Mark, who has been escorting Bromley out of town, then walks in and, much to the women's chagrin, introduces Jimmie. Before Jimmie and Mark return to the saloon, Bromley, who has doubled back into town, overhears Mark arranging to give Jimmie a fresh horse. Sure that Jimmie's presence at his saloon will mean a boost in business, Mac, meanwhile, offers Jimmie a share of his anticipated revenues, but Jimmie tells him to give the money to the schoolteacher, as he has always had a weakness for teachers. Just as Jimmie is about to go, Molly arrives with Peggy. Jimmie asks Peggy to join him in California or the Northwest, but she fears his reputation will follow him and refuses. When he asks her to reconsider his proposition in a year, however, she agrees. Unaware that the brothers are in town, Jimmie then arranges to see his son before he leaves. Jimmie, Jr. doesn't know that the famous gunfighter is his father and asks him to identify the toughest man he ever saw. To Jimmie, Jr.'s surprise, Jimmie names the gunless Mark who later assures Jimmie that he will watch out for Peggy and his son until he returns. The brothers, meanwhile, lie in wait for Jimmie but are taken by surprise by Charlie. Bromley then suddenly appears and shoots Jimmie in the back before he has a chance to draw. As he is dying, Jimmie tells Mark that he wants it known that he drew first so that Bromley will learn what life is like as a gunslinger. After Jimmie dies, Mark takes Bromley into a barn, beats him and tells him that thousands of "cheap squirts" like him will now want to kill the man who killed Jimmie Ringo. Later, a church service is held for Jimmie, and Peggy and Jimmie, Jr. attend as Mrs. Jimmie Ringo and son.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 Jun 1950|
|Release Date:||1950||Production Date:||
UCLA has VHS tape
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
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Tragic gunfighter classic
Oliver Cutshaw 2015-09-09
Perhaps modeled as much on the doomed gangsters of 30's crime dramas as much as on western legends this is a fine movie. I honestly think that is one...
Dashiell Barnes 2012-06-30
A finely-crafted, psychologically-driven western. Peck is believable as a mustached shooter who can't help loosing his reputation. This is more of a...
A western for adults
A few westerns rise above the cartoon level of super heroes who never miss and whose guns never run out of bullets. Peck played a real human being...