Return of the Gunfighter (1967)

Not Rated   |    |  Romance, Western


Return of the Gunfighter (1967) Poster

An aging gunman and a wounded drifter come upon a young Mexican girl, and agree to help her avenge the death of her father, who was murdered for their land.


6.4/10
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25 September 2007 | bkoganbing
9
| The Weary Gunfighter
Probably the best role Robert Taylor had in the last five years of his life was in this made for television western, Return of the Gunfighter. Though no new dramatic trails are broken here, Taylor is just right for the part of a character very much like Gregory Peck's Jim Ringo in The Gunfighter.

Unlike Peck who's returned to a wife and child he abandoned for the wild ways of his youth, Taylor has no family. We meet him after he cashes out of a poker game after catching one of the players cheating. When the cheat objects and draws on him, Taylor shoots him down and just mutters "why won't they leave me alone."

He's just tired of it all, but it turns out his skill is needed by an old friend Rodolfo Hoyos who's being forced off his land. Taylor is summoned but arrives too late.

He does pick up a traveling companion of sorts in young gun Chad Everett who's got three mean brothers on his trail. Let's say that the two of them help each other in their situations, though for Everett it does cause a crisis of conscience as you'll see if you watch the film.

And watch it you should. Robert Taylor liked doing westerns, you can see it in his performances in them. He made fun of the 'iron jockstrap' parts like Ivanhoe, but he loved going west. Personally I think he should have concentrated on them in the sixties or looked for a big budget television series like his ex-wife Barbara Stanwyck had.

Taylor's chief nemesis is Lyle Bettger the man who killed his friend and others. Bettger once again brings one of his sadistic psychos to the screen and effectively. This one does have a healthy respect for Taylor's reputation and skill as he tries to tell young punk John David Chandler, when Chandler seems to buffalo Taylor in a saloon. The fact that Chandler had several friends with him, kind of stacked the deck. It's a scene very similar to one that John Wayne and George Kennedy did in The Sons of Katie Elder.

This was the second of two films that Chad Everett did with Robert Taylor and he always spoke of Taylor's kindness to him as a young player and his generosity in that he never worried about Everett stealing any scenes.

Taylor was back at MGM for this final film with them, the studio where he held the longest contract in screen history. Had Return of the Gunfighter been made 10 year earlier, it surely would have gotten a theatrical release.

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Romance | Western

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