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  • I suppose somewhere there's someone who could tell your fortune by the way the spaghetti lays on your plate. Personally, I'd rather just eat the stuff. This is a western about water rights, barbed wire, cowhands and people who want to be cowhands, and women who want to love them, use them, or leave them. It was made during the V. Nam War and some would read into it more than is there. It's a western; I've seen better, I've seen worse. This ones not bad. Tony Francioso (Gannon) is awakened by a telegraph crew running the wire through his camp, and rides off as the credits roll to Dave Gruisins score and a song I haven't been able to get out of my head in 45 yrs, "A Smile, a Memory, and One Spare Shirt." Francioso and Sarrazin play master and pupil, and this rehashed horse opera moves along with a cast of familiar faces who do a yeoman job of one more western. Having seen the original, "Man Without a Star", I think Kirk Douglas overplays the part and Tony gives a more suitable, understated performance. It will surprise some and disappoint others, depends on your tastes and if its raining or not. But if it comes up on the tube, its worth a look. Either it catches you or it doesn't. I found it oddly compelling. The tune has stayed in my head a long time.
  • At least I'm pretty sure i was made for TV. I thought i was a fine, tightly directed little Western about a down-on-his-luck cowpoke who's lost his herd (or ranch; it's been awhile since I've seen it)and goes to work for a woman ranch owner. I wish I could find a copy of this movie somewhere. It's left a lasting impression. I liked it more than Man Without a Star, its nominal predecessor. Anthony Franciosa, an actor of limited range, is at his best here. Michael Sarrazin as the would-be gunslinger he takes under his wing also is fine. An episode of The Virginian TV series, perhaps one featuring the character Steve,was derived from Man Called Gannon/Man Without a Star.
  • Kirpianuscus9 October 2016
    a western. with the ambition to be more than one of ordinaries examples of genre. and this desire is far to be extravagant. because it propose a seductive story of lost, friendship, form of fatherhood and spirit of youth. and the great surprise remains Anthony Franciosa who has the best occasion to do a role in which the nuances are real important. Michael Sarrazin gives , more than a credible character, a lovely portrait of an age. it is a special story. about success and grow up, about love and seduction, about illusions and lost causes, about heroism and about ...women and the force who defines the words. short, more than a good western. because the classic story has deep roots. and an inspired director.
  • A watered- down remake of 1955's "Man Without a Star." And this one lacks the 'star' power (Kirk Douglas) of the original. The routine stroy of mentor and young tender-foot seems just that-routine. Franciosa lacks the 'chutzpa' to bring this one the original instead.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    James Goldstone made several big-screen movies and none of them seemed to connect. He also made a number of made-for-television movies. Who knows why he decided to remake King Vidor's "Man without a Star" with Kirk Douglas as a guitar-strumming cowpoke. Incredibly, "A Man Called Gannon" is as good as the Vidor film. The only objectionable element is the vocals that add nothing to this atmospheric oater about a veteran ranch hand and a tenderfoot from Philadelphia. The supporting cast is as strong as the two leads, Anthony Anthony Franciosa and Michael Sarrazin (two actors that I have never cared for), and John Anderson, Gavin MacLeod, James Westerfield, Eddie Firestone, David Sheiner, and let's not forget the gals: Judi West as a love-starved ranch owner and Susan Oliver as a soiled dove saloon prostitute. This is a beautifully lensed sagebrusher that doesn't appear to rely on previous shot footage, which Universal Studios had a nasty habit of falling back on in a pinch. First and foremost, "A Man Called Gannon" is a horse opera about cattlemen, barbed wire, and morality. This isn't a snappy Spaghetti western with a catchy title tune, gunplay galore, and men wearing six-gun every conceivable way on their hips, legs, armpits, bellies, etc. This is a believable, low-key, oater that draws on the strongest element in any movie or novel—solid characterization.
  • This is a remake of "Man Without A Star", which packed a lot more star power, and a much better story. In fact, the biggest star in this version may be Western favorite John Anderson.

    It is about a man (gee, could his name be Gannon?) who takes on a naive young man as his protégé. Unlike the original, both these guys are not credible characters. They have too much of the modern cinema touch in them, the desire to kill, kill, kill. They are more like a dork's comic book version of the original.

    Neither character is likable, and the movie is much like a spaghetti western in that it tries to make you hate one less than another, which is how to choose who you like.

    That sort of "director and writer" control freak format not only destroys the art and story of what they concoct, but it takes us out of the story, and makes us realize we're just watching. We're no longer into the story. Instead, we're just keenly aware of the presence of the director, writer, and others. They may as well just let the film crew walk around in the background. That would be less humiliating to them, as it would at least be honest.

    A look at this film, and one wonders why the two leads don't just conquer the world in one day, since the movie makes them such supermen, and also makes them totally unidentifiable.

    Every scene just fails compared to the original, which makes it even sadder, because the original wasn't a "great" movie, but compared to this, it looks like the Seven Samurai.
  • This movie is like a lot of others made at the height of the Vietnam War - I swear Hollywood was chucking out really bad movies just to take people's minds off the war (check out Burt Lancaster in "The Swimmer" some time.) Number 1: bad songs. This is a trademark of movies made between '65 and '71. Number 2 (or 1b): use of the harpsichord. Again, a key instrument in American movies made between 65 and 71. Then, there's the anti-hero (or two of them here.) I guess by 1968 / 1969, all the good western stories had been done. (Until Josey Wales, Dances with Wolves, and Unforgiven, that is.)

    This movie's writer and director must have said to themselves, "let's take the worst of the 1960's and put those characters in the 1880's." Let's imagine the Woodstock generation faced with a range war.