Man Or Gun

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"SHOOT-OUT After SHOOT-OUT! No man could be that good...IT HAD TO BE THE GUN!"
  • Approved
  • 1958
  • 1 hr 19 min
  • 5.7  (127)

Man Or Gun is a 1958 Western film directed by Albert C. Gannaway, starring Macdonald Carey, Audrey Totter, and James Craig. Set in a small town in the old west, the movie tells the story of a drifter named Wes Steele (played by Macdonald Carey) who rides into town just as the local farmers are fighting against a wealthy rancher who's stealing their water rights. Wes tries to stay out of it, but he soon finds himself caught in the middle of the conflict, forced to choose between using his weapon or his wit to survive.

The movie opens with Wes Steele riding into town on his horse, looking for a job. He gets hired as a farmhand by a widow named Helga Swenson (played by Audrey Totter), who runs a farm with her two children. However, his brief moment of peace is soon interrupted when he learns about the water war that's going on between the farmers and a rich cattle baron named Ed McNeil (played by James Craig). McNeil is trying to take control of the town by monopolizing the water supply, but the farmers resist, refusing to give up their rights.

Although Wes tries to stay neutral, he's drawn into the conflict when McNeil's men attack Helga's farm, trying to steal her water. In an attempt to help Helga, Wes accidentally kills one of McNeil's henchmen. This act of violence puts him in McNeil's sights, and he becomes a target for the ruthless rancher.

Determined to put an end to the conflict, Wes decides to team up with the farmers to fight against McNeil. He uses his skills as a sharpshooter to defend the farmers and help them win the war. However, the situation becomes complicated when Wes discovers that Helga is McNeil's former lover. This revelation puts a strain on their relationship, as Wes starts to question Helga's loyalty to him.

The rest of the movie follows Wes as he tries to protect the farmers from McNeil's wrath, while at the same time dealing with his own personal demons. He's torn between his desire to settle down with Helga and his sense of duty to fight for justice. The climax of the movie comes in a tense gunfight between Wes and McNeil, as Wes must prove once and for all whether he's a man or a gun.

Man Or Gun is a classic Western with all the elements of the genre: a lone hero, a corrupt villain, and a showdown in the dusty streets. What sets this movie apart is the nuanced exploration of the characters' motivations and relationships. Wes Steele is a complex protagonist, torn between his loyalty to the farmers and his growing affection for Helga. Audrey Totter gives a standout performance as Helga, balancing her loyalty to both Wes and McNeil with grace and subtlety. James Craig is a convincing villain, bringing just enough charisma to make the audience understand why he's so dangerous.

Overall, Man Or Gun is a must-see for fans of Westerns, and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted story with memorable characters.

Man Or Gun
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (127)