6 July 2007 | Nazi_Fighter_David
"I'm gonna count one, two, three. You can draw on two - I'll wait to three."
For Sturges, the West was a man's world, and his cool, hard, detached style, emphasizing action, excitement and the rugged environment of the frontier, endorsed the point
Sturges believed there were three essentials to every Western: 1. Isolation a man standing alone with no hope of help from outside (e.g. Spencer Tracy's predicament in "Bad Day at Black Rock when the telegraph lines are cut). 2. A man, or group of men compulsively take law and justice, rightly or wrongly, into their own hands (e.g. "The Magnificent Seven"). 3. The issues are resolved by violence in the form of gunplay (e.g. "Gunfight at the OK Corral," "Hour of the Gun"). He followed this up by saying: 'A Western is a controlled, disciplined, formal kind of entertainment. There's good and bad; clearly defined issues; there's chase; there's a gunfight.'
"Hour of the Gun" covers the period just after the famous gun battle
The film is well done but there are some downfalls: It shows only one face of Wyatt his "official" law abiding side, with no women in his life
And also no Johnny Ringothe main bad guy and rival of Doc Holliday
There are solid performances all around, beginning with James Garner who plays a hero with a badge, and is powerful in his intensity
Wyatt's vengeance for the murder of his brother show the primal potency of violence
Robards plays John Hollidayan ordinary man dying of tuberculosis who becomes one of Wyatt's most loyal allies with an insatiable greed for drinking, gambling and fighting
Robards is quite good in his character, and does deliver a couple of colorful lines to Earp
The relationship and chemistry between the two men is unique
It's difficult to outline, but it's like these two were old souls who would go through hell with/for each other and never need to wonder or to argue it
Ryan, as a Westerner, has played straight as well as crooked his hunted killer in "The Naked Spur" and his ageing lawman (losing his vision at crucial moments) in "The Proud Ones" being equally memorable
In more recent roles he has been basically sympathetic as the horse-handler in "The Professionals," as William Holden's weary, reluctant pursuer in "The Wild Bunch," as the pacifist sheriff in "Lawman" the exception being "Hour of the Gun," in which once again he was the outlaw on the run, this time with a relentless Wyatt Earp in pursuit
Ryan has perhaps achieved more as an actor in other genres, but the Western would have been the poorer without him