MAN OR GUN [1958] movie review

December 31, 2011 · Print This Article

Many westerns start with a stranger arriving into town, so does MAN OR GUN. The difference this time is the man has just literarily crawled through the desert to get there. While on his belly sliding across the sand he finds a fancy Colt .44 pistol. Thus we are introduced to the two things up for debate in the movie, man or gun.

The stranger, Smith, finds trouble easily in town as it is run by the Corley family. Covered in sand and dust and looking like a bum, save for the sparkling Colt on his hip, he is soon taunted by a member of the Corley family in a saloon. He becomes the first to fall victim to either the magic of the gun, or the skill of the man.


A shrewd, and of course pretty, bar owner, Fran, instantly takes a liking to Smith and tries to manipulate him into ridding the town of all the Corley’s. Smith proves to not only be a skilled gunslinger, but also a wise man who is not willing to be anyone’s tool for power.


The movie does not have high production values, but the story and characters are engaging resulting in a classic western that can be appreciated by fans of the genre.


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