The Gunfighter (1950)




Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn\’t want to see him. He hasn\’t come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner. Full summary »

Genre: Western,Drama

The Gunfighter (1950)
Release Date: 21 August 1950 (Sweden)
Country: USA
Director: Henry King
  • Gregory Peck
  • Helen Westcott
  • Millard Mitchell
  • Jean Parker
  • Karl Malden
  • Skip Homeier
  • Anthony Ross
  • Verna Felton
  • Ellen Corby
  • Richard Jaeckel

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20 Responses to The Gunfighter (1950)

  1. GrandTheftAudio
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    So when Johnny runs into an old pal of his at the bar he asks her how her husband is doing and she says he was shot in Abilene, and no one knows by whom. Later Hunt Bromley is being joshed at the barbershop by the locals who say he’s never killed anyone, and he replies that they don’t know everything about him, like what he used to do in Abilene. Maybe he shot Gregory Peck’s old friend’s husband. Anyone else subscribe to this theory?

  2. coolerifyoudid
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    but not a bad western. I just can’t help compare it to High Noon because of the same central theme to both movies. Whereas The Gunfighter seems a little dated when watched today (i.e, Peck’s death scene), High Noon does not. IMO

  3. netstvdvs
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    …weakened by a hokey and anti-climactic ending. This film should have ended with the death of Ringo. Audiences are smart enough to know what’s going to be the fate of the gunnie that shot him in the back – they don’t need it explained to them by the Sheriff. And the funeral scene with the cliched final shot of Ringo riding off into the sunset was totally unnecessary.

    "I’ve been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" – Elwood P. Dowd

  4. thao
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    Bob Dylan wrote a song about this film, called Brownsville Girl. The text is really great. Here are three verses from it:

    Well, there was this movie I seen one time,

    About a man riding ‘cross the desert and it starred Gregory Peck.

    He was shot down by a hungry kid trying to make a name for himself.

    The townspeople wanted to crush that kid down and string him up by the neck.

    Well, the marshal, now he beat that kid to a bloody pulp

    as the dying gunfighter lay in the sun and gasped for his last breath.

    Turn him loose, let him go, let him say he outdrew me fair and square,

    I want him to feel what it’s like to every moment face his death.

    Something about that movie though, well I just can’t get it out of my head

    But I can’t remember why I was in it or what part I was supposed to play.

    All I remember about it was Gregory Peck and the way people moved

    And a lot of them seemed to be lookin’ my way.

    No animal was hurt during the making of this burger

  5. coldscribe
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    Hello everyone. I’m interested in knowing about the favorites of people who appreciated this Western, which has expert pacing, tension and character focus. The film kind of distills what the Western mythos is all about: the gun and man’s vulnerability in the face of a changing world.

    My list would probably include leone’s G.B.U. or OUATIW, like everyone else, but I’ve recently been impressed by the cinematography of MY DARLING CLEMENTINE and some others.

    It might sound sacriligious and underappreciative but I think the defintive Western has yet to be made, or more likely the best is a collection from bits and pieces of many. Thanks.

    Jim, do you think the end of the world will come at night-time? -Rebel Without a Cause

  6. johnny3868
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    Everybody who’s seen the film knows that Gregory Peck dies at the end…..but.

    What about the possibiity that he faked his death in order to escape his past to start a new life with his ex-sweetheart and their son?

    I know it’s a huge stretch, but try to imagine Peck’s character lying there on the ground, having just been shot. This would have been the perfect time to simply close his eyes (after making that final speech in front of many witnesses to the kid who just shot him about what kind of a terrible life HE’S going to have as nothing more than a target for other "gunnies") and simply pretended he was dead….just that simple.

    Afterwards, some folks (meaning his friend the sheriff, and a few other sympathetic people, like the bartender, the barmaid, the doctor, etc) would have carried his body away to the undertakers. There he would have revealed that he was only faking it, the doctor could have stitched him up, and he’s now officially dead, free to ride away into the sunset, as the last shot of the film clearly shows him doing. All that’s required is a weighted, closed coffin at the funeral, and nobody except a few people know the truth.

    Once he’s "dead," it’ll be easier to start a new life….shave his mustache, change his appearance, etc. And in a year, he meets up with his sweetheart and son in secret and they start a new life together.

    Yeah, it’s a big leap of faith, but otherwise the ending is way too sad and depressing, after making the audience really root for this guy to put his past behind him and start all over with the only woman he ever loved and the child he never knew.

  7. etsuo
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    I’d seen this movie listed on TCM several times before watching it. An interesting comment by the TCM presenter (I wasn’t a regular viewer of TCM until after this and other interesting films) concerned John Wayne, who passed on this role, fearing the damage it would do to his Macho Cowboy image. However, once he saw what kind of legend Gregory Peck created, he lamented passing on a role that "showed a little weakness." So, much later, John Wayne got to take on "The Gunfighter" again in "The Shootist," covering similar ground and "showing integrity beating weakness." (Like Jason Robards’ character in "Once Upon A Time In The West"?)

  8. neighturboy
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    Now that the DVD is finally out (in the U.S.) check out Arthur Miller’s deep-focus black-and-white cinematography. With this latest release the visuals really "pop", offering an almost 3-D effect. This is one amazing visual achievement for 1950!

  9. mental_nomad
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    There is a whole story about how the studio wanted him clean shaven. But the director and actors conspired to keep the mustache. They filmed X amount of film, when studio head said shave it and re-shoot, they said it would cost 150,000 or some such amount. So they left the mustache.

    So, mustache or no mustache? As a beard wearer I’m prejudiced.

    Why settle for the lesser of two evils? Vote Cthulhu!

  10. marktayloruk
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    Pegfgy marries Mark a year or so later.Hunt turns out to be a deadlier gunman than Ringo ever was but he enjoys it-becomes renowned bounty hunter,guard,etc.Young Jimmy grows up intent on avenging his father,practising against his mother’s and stepfather’s orders for the day he can hunt (pun intended) down and kill Hunt Bromley.

  11. stevenwill
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    Anyone know when this is coming on DVD?

  12. hobnob53
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    THE GUNFIGHTER is coming to DVD May 13, 2008, in a box set with two other Fox westerns (RAWHIDE and GARDEN OF EVIL). Not available separately. Also that day, Fox is releasing the widescreen version of THE BIG TRAIL, as a separate DVD.

  13. hydr0x
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    The trailer for this classic isn’t included on my local dvd :( Could anyone possibly provide me with it or at least upload it to youtube? Would be much appreciated :)

  14. agoreski
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    Anyone have any recommendations on the life of Johnny Ringo? Found this to be a compelling story.

  15. b-adams
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    I saw a movie many years ago about a gunfighter who was trying to live down his reputation. At some stage in the film he is given a wooden toy gun by a kid. for some reason he ends up carrying it in his holster at the end of the film when he is challenged by a young gunfighter trying to make a name for himself. Of course he is shot and the young gunfighter thinks he has beaten him only for someone (the actor may have been Gregory Peck) reveal that he was armed only with a kids toy as he snapped it in his hands. It seemed like a good ending but I can not remember the name of the movie. Any suggestions.

  16. cassavetes45
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    i really love the gunfighter even though i’ve only seen it a few times. it’s the kind of western i like because the storyline, and the problems and conflicts of the character, take precedence over the ‘shoot ’em up action’.

    what i would like to know is what are his final words as he’s dying. i can make out most of it, but then he pauses and says just a few more words. i can’t seem to make out what he’s saying.

    i would appreciate any help you can give me. thanks.

    hi, my name is carleen…i’m harmless.

  17. therealcromar
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    Any Western fan knows that there are a LOT of bad, bad Westerns out there. To find the good ones you generally have to look on movie/western sites for reviews and recommendations. Amazingly I had never heard of The Gunfighter when it came on AMC; I decided to watch it for a laugh. The film shocked me. This is easily one of the best Westerns I’ve ever seen, ranking with the best of John Ford and Sergio Leone. Can you imagine a Western with only two gunshots in the entire film? With no present military, a sheriff that keeps the peace without a gun, no exploitave Native American "savages" common in junk b-westerns of the day, and a gunfighter who AVOIDS battles, this film is everything but the typical 2 am cable western. Truly recommended for any fan of film, not just westerns, not just Gregory Peck (who is amazing), but anyone.

    Trivia: You can find the character of Jimmy Ringo (called by his real name Johnny Ringo) elsewhere in film history in Tombstone being played by Michael Beihn, with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer in his life’s best role as Doc Holliday. It’s a different retelling (see the trivia for the Gunfighter on this site for the real story of Johnny Ringo) but still excellent.

  18. washoelaw
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    The ‘Trivia’ link shows Johnny’s suicide to be in CA, but it was Arizona.



  19. GuyWhiteyCorngood07
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    this sh** ass movie is only good because it inspired a great dylan song. i mean, gregory peck is a great actor, but seriously, if you had to choose between this movie, and "brownsville girl". you better choose ‘brownsville girl", if not…you are a dumbass.

  20. dylan7589
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