A reformed Gunfighter Jimmy Ringo is on his way to a sleepy town in the hope of a reunion with his estranged sweetheart and their young son who he has never seen. On arrival, a chance meeting with some old friends including the town's Marshal gives the repentant Jimmy some respite. But as always Jimmy's reputation has already cast its shadow, this time in the form of three vengeful cowboys hot on his trail and a local gunslinger hoping to use Jimmy to make a name for himself. With a showdown looming, the town is soon in a frenzy as news of Jimmy's arrival spreads. His movements are restricted to the saloon while a secret meeting with his son can be arranged giving him ideas of a long term reunion with his family far removed from his wild past.Written by
When Jimmy Ringo goes into the hotel room to get the sniper with the Winchester rifle, the lock on the door is just a handle. There is no mechanism to go into the jamb to allow the door to lock. See more »
[to Archie, the boy sweeping up the saloon]
You got a livery stable here, boy?
[just stares at Jimmy Ringo]
Uh, he's a little astonished, Jimmy.
When you get him un-astonished, tell him to take care of my horse.
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A very careful adult Western set in a believable community...
Is there any place, any retreat, any home of retirement, that an inevitably tiring gunman can move on to?
This predicament is best conveyed, explored and given its full tragic weight in Henry King's 'The Gunfighter.'
Ringo (Gregory Peck), wearing his reputation as the fastest gun in the south-west territories like a heavy load, enters each bar warily when he needs a quiet drink, knowing full well the reactionfear, respect, perhaps admiration, and certainly the intervention in some form or other of a young upstart with itchy gun-fingers.
Although Ringo, guilty for previous sins, tries to refrain and to avoid the shoot-out... But he is always compelled to eliminate the worthless maladjusted gunmen, wishful for a big name...
The pattern is set early on when Peck has to shoot a boy (Richard Jaecke1) in self-defense. And so a feud beginsyou feel it's only one of manywith the three brothers of the boy (Alan Hale Jr., David Clarke and John Pickard) hell-bent for revenge
Peck deals with this situation, at least for the moment, sighs and then moves on to a place that passes for home... Here is his wife (Helen Westcott) and his son, who won't, however, be providing him with a welcome since in the eight years that husband and family have been apart the wife has been trying to build a life of their own Here also is a sheriff (Millard Mitchell) formerly engaged in Peck's outlaw activities, but now reformed, and an old girl friend (Jean Parker) ready to he1p him in anything that concerns him most His actual concern is reconciliation with his wife and a new life together There is a tentative rapprochement but, of course, there is another of those young contender interventions, this time in the person of Skip Homeier
Henry King draws up carefully the ultimate end of the 'top gun of the West.' His film is an inclination towards a classical tragedy, destined to be destroyed inevitably... Peck strikes the right note from his first edgy entry... He wants to shake off his past... He is disgusted to kill in order to survive... He is aimless for a change, sick with death and glory, showing tiredness of killing, conscious to a tragic fate one day...
Peck is superb in his brief and nervy reunion with his small son, impressed like the rest of the local kids by the fact that Jimmy Ringo, the gunfighter, is in town...
"The Gunfighter", keen and penetrating, explosive and tense, is beautifully acted, tautly directed and superbly photographed by Arthur Miller in black-and-white...
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