Last Train From Gun Hill (Domestic)
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Top Customer Reviews
That this film, one of my favorites from the 50's, is based around a somewhat unlikely scenario, plus a monstrous coincidence that no bookie in Vegas would give you odds on, doesn't matter. These are just what Alfred Hitchcock used to call a "McGuffin," a device or prop about which to arrange the action, and let the characters play out their stories.
It stars two powerful actors at the very top of their form; Kirk Douglas as "Marshal Matt Morgan," and Anthony Quinn as "Craig Belden." Morgan is by the book, straight as an arrow, incorruptible, the very personification of moral rectitude, and Belden is a rancher of the old school, he's had to fight tooth and nail for everything he has. The two men are old friends from way-back, each as unbending and unforgiving, in their own way, as the other.
The third major player in this drama is "Rick Belden," Craig's son, superbly played by Earl Holliman, a character the polar-opposite of his father. A weakling, braggart, coward, and a boor, everything he has, from the clothes on his back, to the money in his pocket, to the "friends" who ride with him and buy him whisky, he has for one reason, and one reason only... his last name is Belden!
Director John Sturges doesn't waste any time in setting events in motion; a young Native American woman with a child beside her is riding a horse and buggy through the countryside. She passes three cowpokes making camp, they watch as she goes by, exchange knowing looks, then set off in pursuit, calling out that they just want a little fun as they surround the buggy.Read more ›
So when the pair reteamed for 1959's Last Train From Gun Hill, it stood to reason that it would be at least a good film. Well, it's a great film, Douglas' best Western, and one of the great Westerns in the great Western movie heyday in the 50's.
Douglas plays Matt Morgan, a town marshal whose Indian wife is raped and murdered by a young hoodlum from the town of Gun Hill. Morgan finds out that the punk is the son of Gun Hill's owner and boss Craig Belden. Morgan and Belden were saddle pals in the past, and Belden once saved Morgan's life. When Morgan sees that Belden is going to protect his son, Morgan overpowers the son, and holds up with him in a hotel, planing to take the son to justice on the last train out that evening.
This movies has everything-great performances, a great script, and a aura of suspense that is sometimes nerve wracking. Last Train From Gun Hill is a must for every Western movie collector.
Kirk Douglas does a fine job of playing Matt Morgan, a tough, no nonsense marshal that must bring his oldest friend's son to justice for the rape and murder of his own American Indian wife. We can see the complexity of a man sworn to uphold the law, battling with his own urge for revenge, and at times we're not so sure he isn't using the law as his own brand of revenge.
The more complex character here is Craig Belden, played masterfully by Anthony Quinn. Here is a man who spent his whole life building a cattle empire, he's fought for everything he's got, lost his wife and raised his only child by himself the best that he could, only to find himself between his best friend and a son who has committed an atrocity. And though somewhat tame by todays standards, I still find the scene where Matt Morgan's son is forced to ride off for help, leaving behind his mother, as she screams in frightened terror and pain while she is being raped and murdered, fairly unsettling.
The plot moves swiftly from the town of Pauley where the rape and murder takes place, to the town of Gun Hill, where Rick Beldon is arrested, and held at gun point while the Marshal tries to get him to the 9 pm train back to Pauley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Is a Great Movie,,, Granted It's In The "B" Western Movie "Genre",,, It's More In The Saturday Matinee "Section" ... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BigWheelHawaii
Kirk Douglas & Anthony Quinn. Two movie icons in a rare appearence together. There will never be anyone like them again. One of the very best westerns ever made.Published 1 month ago by submariner
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