- 1 hr 26 min
Gunpoint is a 1966 western film directed by Earl Bellamy and starring Audie Murphy, Joan Staley, and Warren Stevens. The movie tells the story of Clay, a former outlaw who returns to his hometown to start his life anew as a respected businessman. However, when his old gang finds out about his new life, they come back to town and force him to help them with a bank heist. Clay must outsmart his old friends and protect his reputation while he figures out a way to save his town from the gang's criminal plans.
The movie is set in the typical western town of Sheridan, where Clay is known as the toughest gunslinger in the area. He is also respected for his business skills and his ethics, which make him a respected member of the community. However, when his old gang, led by Hank, returns to town, Clay's past comes back to haunt him. The gang wants to rob the town bank, and they know that Clay's skills will be essential for their success.
Clay finds himself in a dilemma. He doesn't want to betray his new life and the people who trust him, but he also doesn't want to reveal his past and put his family and business in danger. Therefore, he decides to play along with the gang's plan, hoping to find a way to stop them and protect his reputation.
While the gang prepares for the heist, Clay tries to gather information and come up with a plan. He also learns that his wife, Helen, is not as innocent as he thought she was, and that his old flame, Laura, is still interested in him. Moreover, he discovers that Hank has a personal interest in implicating him in the robbery and making him look like a traitor.
As the day of the heist approaches, tension rises in the town. Clay tries to alert the sheriff, but he is reluctant to believe him because of his past. Therefore, Clay takes matters into his own hands and prepares for a showdown with his former gang members.
The movie delivers all the typical western elements, such as gunfights, horse chases, and saloon brawls. However, it also explores deeper themes, such as redemption, loyalty, and the struggle between the past and the present. The character of Clay is portrayed as a complex and conflicted protagonist, who has to balance his loyalty to his old friends with his love for his family and his respect for the law.
Audie Murphy gives a convincing performance as Clay, showing both his tough side and his vulnerability. Joan Staley plays the role of Helen with grace and elegance, while Warren Stevens delivers a convincing portrayal of Hank, the villain of the story. The rest of the supporting cast, including Edgar Buchanan as the sheriff and Roy Barcroft as one of the gang members, also delivers solid performances.
The movie's direction is consistent and efficient, with Bellamy knowing when to slow down and when to ramp up the action. The cinematography captures the beauty of the western landscape, and the score by Richard Shores creates a fitting atmosphere of tension and drama.
Overall, Gunpoint is a well-crafted western movie that delivers both on the action and on the drama. Its storyline is engaging, and its characters are well-developed and relatable. Despite being made more than fifty years ago, it still holds up as a classic example of the genre and a testament to Audie Murphy's talent as an actor. It is a must-watch for fans of western movies and for those who appreciate a good old-fashioned story of redemption and courage in the face of danger.
Gunpoint is a 1966 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.