EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HEAVEN WITH A GUN (director: Lee H Katzin; screenwriter: Richard Carr; cinematographer: Fred Koenekamp; editor: Dann Cahn; music: Johnny Mandel; cast: Glenn Ford (Jim Killian/Pastor Jim), Carolyn Jones (Madge McCloud (saloon owner)), Barbara Hershey (Leloopa (Indian girl)), John Anderson (Asa Beck (cattleman)), David Carradine (Coke Beck (Asa's son)), J.D. Cannon (Mace (Beck's gunman)), Noah Beery, Jr. (Garvey (Beck Ranch ramrod)), Harry Townes (Gus Sampson (storekeeper)), William Bryant (Bart Paterson (cattleman)), Virginia Gregg (Mrs. Patterson), Ed Bakey (Scotty Andrews); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Frank & Maurice King; MGM; 1969)|
by Dennis Schwartz
routine Western produced by the King Brothers, known
for hiring blacklisted writers and making crude pics.
Director Lee H Katzin ("Le Mans"/"What Ever
Happened to Aunt Alice?"/"World Goes Wild") and writer
Richard Carr load the genre pic with cliches and
violent sequences. The unpleasant Western features a
lynching, torture with shears, a rape, arson, a street
brawl and your usual saloon gun fights. The numerous
cliches include a world-weary gunfighter wanting to
reform and to save the world, your typical western
fight between cattlemen and sheepherders, an aging
saloon keeper and whorehouse madam with a heart of
Jones) longing for her unavailable old
gunfighter friend and a pretty half-caste Indian (Barbara Hershey)
finding it difficult to understand the white world. It
preaches an awkward social conscience message that
peace can be found without guns. The trouble is the
pic is clumsily executed and is leaden, so everything
seems absurd and hardly believable.
and felon Jim
Killian (Glenn Ford) is a reformed middle-aged man and
comes to Vinegaroon, New Mexico, to open the lawless
town's first church, as he converts a livery stable.
Then Jim tries to stop the ruthless and ambitious
cattle baron Asa Beck (John Anderson) and his
loose-cannon son Coke (David Carradine) from fighting with the
sheep herders, who are led by the Mormon Mr. Murdoch
(James Griffith). After much violence, Jim, at the
town's only lake to water the animals, gets
everybody but Asa into believing that there could be
harmony between both warring parties.
REVIEWED ON 6/6/2013 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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