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  • vox-sane12 January 2004
    "Support Your Local Sheriff" was a very funny movie, so essentially the same cast and director to make another movie in the same style. "Support Your Local Gunfighter" is funnier without reference at all to "Sheriff", and if "Sheriff" hadn't been so good the flaws in "Gunfighter" wouldn't be so noticeable.

    Except for some mild language and extensive (and very funny violence), it's unobjectionable.

    Like "Sheriff", "Gunfighter" has James Garner as a western hero playing against the grain. In "Sheriff" he was a capable man "Just passing through on his way to Australia", and who, accepting the position of sheriff to clean up a town, seemed not to comprehend the western conventions the other characters were foisting onto him.

    In "Gunfighter", Garner is a west-hating coward who makes a living off women by his good looks. Fleeing the latest of his conquests, who thinks they're about to be married, he stops off in the town of Purgatory just to see a doctor then head on his way. Unfortunately the mayor (Harry Morgan) and his wackaloon daughter (Suzanne Pleshette) think he's "Swifty" Morgan, a gunfighter sent for by a business rival (John Dehner). Garner persuades them the gunfighter really is his newfound sidekick (Jack Elam), takes the money, and prepares to blow town.

    Chuck Connors, arriving at the end as the real "Swifty", proves, a decade before airplane, that having serious actors play deadpan in well-written comedies can be very funny indeed.

    Don't watch it on the same week-end as "Sheriff". There are no points of continuity between them, and, funny as this movie is, some of "Gunfighter"'s shine will be lost by the unavoidable comparisons with its superior predecessor.
  • James Garner was always good in westerns (just watch the original "Maverick" series if you don't believe me), but he was never more in his element than he is in "Support your Local Gunfighter".

    This has got to be one of the funniest westerns (besides "Blazing Saddles") I've ever seen. In fact, everyone here has a good line (even Conners as Swifty Morgan gets some good ones. Wow!).

    But you have to watch it for Garner. Just look at him making the best of his unfounded notoriety as a gunfighter. He's a master at mistaken identity. He made it a daily practice in the "Maverick" series. And with Elam at his side, everything falls into place nicely.

    There are too many good things in this film to even hint at, so I'll just insist that you support James Garner and draw on this "Gunfighter".

    Ten stars. Catch Elam's final monologue; that should tie up any loose ends for you.
  • n_oflash19 March 2001
    Garner's wonderful in this spoof, which is a follow-up to SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF. Still, this film has more than enough merits of its own. The humor after all these years still holds up, & it's one that needs to be viewed again & again. It's as fresh now as it was then.
  • jeff-4034 July 2001
    Not a sequel,but a companion piece to Support Your Local Sheriff,and a very funny spoof in it's own right.The cast underplayed it beautifully(not like todays hit you over the head variety).A special mention to Jack Elam,who had me in stitches.He was the master of the false bravado.Oldtime western fans will love it.
  • This was put out in 1971 because the 1969 Western spoof "Support Your Local Sheriff" had been a big hit. It shares an almost identical cast with the first one but isn't a sequel. In this one James Garner plays Latigo. He's a con man he gets to the town of Purgatory to escape from getting married. The townspeople thinks he's the legendary gunfighter Swifty Morgan who they sent for the settle a mine dispute. Also around are Taylor (Harry Morgan) who hired him, his high strung daughter Patience (Suzanne Pleshette) and Jug May (Jack Elam) who becomes his helper.

    This isn't as fun as the earlier one because most of the jokes here were already used or are pretty bad (the explosions the town has every once in a while was a poor running gag). Also Garner's character in this one is pretty obnoxious while he was nice and kind in the earlier one. Still, this does have its moments and the cast gives it their all. I was glad to see Joan Hackett (who I found WAY too shrill) from the first one replaced by Pleshette. Pleshette (who just recently passed away) is young, full of life and lots of fun. Her attempts to kill Garner were actually pretty funny. Also Elam is on hand again and just as funny as he was in the previous one. Heck he even has the same sort of closing speech again! So, it's not as good as "Sheriff" but not bad. I give it a 7.
  • This is a comedy western movie but it is a different one because there is not much fight or gunfight in it. This is very sympathetic movie also funny in some scenes.

    Our hero is a new yorker guy that steals women money with charming them. He comes to west city but he doesn't like the west and the guns, horses and etc. People in this city thinks he is a hired famous gunman, he uses this identity. This is the general subject of the movie.

    Acting is good for a comedy movie, there is also romance and this is a plus for this one. I liked this movie and enjoyed when watching but if you look for a classic movie don't look at this one. I watched this one at a Sunday morning.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film came out two years after SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF. Aside from having very similar titles, both starred James Garner, Harry Morgan and Jack Elam in very similar roles, and the plot itself was so close to the first film it made me wonder why they didn't try something a little more original. Oddly, despite all the similarities, this second film was actually written long before they even made SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF. However, because of the extreme similarity of the films, I really can't rate SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GUNFIGHTER any higher--though it's still a nice little Western-comedy.

    James Garner's character is a bit more amoral and weasel-like in this film as he plays a clever con man determined to take advantage of a war brewing between rival mine owners (Harry Morgan and John Dehner). His plan is to pretend that his new-found bumbling sidekick (Elam) is the dreaded gunman, Swifty Morgan and capitalize on how much everyone fears this famous hired gun. The problem is that eventually, the REAL Morgan comes to town and it looks bad for Garner and Elam.

    While the script was pretty good, there was one big difference about this film that I really disliked. In SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, the female lead was played by Joan Hackett and she was a total kook--a lovable kook, but a kook nonetheless. Here, Susan Pleshette plays a woman who is rather psychotic and IMPOSSIBLE TO LOVE--someone who would have been institutionalized or killed--not someone who would win the man's hand at the end of the film!! Her psychotic outbursts simply weren't funny and really hindered the film whenever she appeared. While I loved Ms. Pleshette in many roles, this one was simply beneath her. As a result of this and the repetitive quality of the film, it's not a film you must see but more of a likable time-passer. Do yourself a favor and see SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF and only see this second film if you feel you need a lot more of the same.
  • Good wholesome family entertainment without any of today's obvious little references towards sex and bad language. James Garner always gives a fine performance with his flair for comedy. Be sure to also see "Support Your Local Sheriff". The kids will love it.
  • This is probably one of the few sequels that is better than the original. The same director is back and most of the cast from the first one but a different leading lady with Suzanne Pleshette. They play different characters from the first one and John Dehner is the villain this time instead of Walter Brennan. Garner arrives in a mining town and everyone thinks he's the gunfighter Swifty Morgan sent for by Dehner. Garner becomes friends with Jack Elam and the next thing he knows Suzanne Pleshette is trying to shoot him or run him down. Garner doesn't know why but eventually finds out. It's a pretty good movie that is better than the original, which was a little overrated.
  • Riotous as well as delightful Western spoof compellingly directed by Burt Kennedy with entertaining and amusing scenes in which a racketeer decides to go with the mistaken identity and use it to his profitable advantage along with his bumbling sidekick . Deliberately cliché-filled , ironical Western with top-notch starring duo as James Garner as a likable swindler and Suzanne Pleshette as fem-lib daughter and his love interest , both of whom giving great lots of fun . In the old west , a stranger trickster becomes a gunslinger just for the pay , figuring he can decamp if things get tough . The picture starts and finishes with a train (it is the Durango & Silverton narrow-gage sight-seeing train in Colorado) , as it appears in the opening credits , as in closing scenes . The film talks about a con man just passing through who gets roped into being a false gunfighter (James Garner) who at the end meets his nemesis , the real infamous Pistolero named "Swiftie" Morgan (Chuck Connors) , the fastest finger in the west . As when a card player called ¨Latigo¨ comes to the small town of Purgatory , things go wrong ; as one trouble-shooting gambler always puts his finger on it or in it . He has a big problem that requires a doctor (Dub Taylor), but that is not immediately disclosed . In Purgatory two rival companies of miners, led by Taylor Barton (Henry Morgan) and Colonel Ames (John Dehner) , are in a frenetic round-the-clock race to seek "the motherlode" of gold buried somewhere under the town . Meanwhile, Latigo is helped by an inept and botcher outlaw , Jug May (Jack Elam makes a robustly likable characterization with his tongue firmly in cheek) . In the final , he uses ingenuity instead and gets to tame a lawless mining town against all odds .

    This wacky spoof is packed with mayhem , lots of silly laughs and great entertainment and fun . Most of the laughters and sight gags galore work acceptably well ; humor is also bold and intelligent with a myriad of imaginative sketches . Demystified Western was one of a group of much-imitated which changed the concept of this particular genre each bent on disproving a popular myth , yet tinged with humor , spoof and combining with anti-heroes , and the inevitable protagonist decadence . Neatly subverts every Western cliché it encounters , yet keeps respect for formula Western . This is a follow-up , not a sequel to ¨Support your local sheriff¨ (1969) also starred by James Garner , Jack Elam and Harry Morgan . The formula deals to enhance the comics observations of the western originated on the decade 60s with the following filmmakers : Andrew McLagen and Burt Kennedy , fine director of this movie , and a bit later on , Mel Brooks directed the indispensable ¨Blazing saddles¨ , a surrealist , extreme and gross-out spoof with the ordinary bunch of loonies and loopies . Burt Kennedy directed similar Western blending comedy such as : ¨Support your local gunfighter (one of his better spoof Western)¨ , ¨Support your local sheriff¨ (his highpoint) , ¨Dirty Dingus Mcgee¨ , ¨War Wagon¨ and ¨ The Good guys and bad guys¨ . The picture is wonderfully amused and enjoyable , with James Garner as a tough gambler in his Maverick image who uses brains as well as brawny and guns . James Edward Grant's screenplay besides having more than its fair scraps of funny lines , throws up rich roles . Thus , James Garner is perfect as the deadpan womanizer who winds up becoming a fake gunman , as he convinces a colleague to carry out several lies among townsfolk . Special mention to Jack Elam as the sympathetic , snide brawler clearly relishing his comic relief . Remaining support cast is excellent , such as : Harry Morgan , Henry Jones , Joan Blondell , John Dehner , Willis Bouchey , Dub Taylor , Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez , Ellen Corby , Gene Evans , Ben Cooper , Kathleen Freeman and Marie Windsor replaced Marilyn Maxwell as "Goldie". Colorful cinematography rightly shot by magnificent cameraman Harry Stradling Jr , Burt Kennedy's usual . Jolly and lively musical score by Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson .

    This very funny and amiable motion picture with more than its fair share of laughters was well produced and directed by Burt Kennedy . He initially was screenwriter , his initial effort, ¨Seven men from now¨ (1956), was a superb western, the first of the esteemed collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott. Kennedy wrote most of that series, as well as a number of others for Batjac , although it would be nearly 20 years before Wayne actually appeared in the film of a Kennedy script . In 1960 Kennedy got his first work as a filmmaker on a western, ¨The Canadians¨ (1961), but it was a critical failure . He turned to television where he wrote and directed episodes of "Lawman" (1958), "The Virginian " (1962) and most notably ¨Combat!"(1962). He returned to films in 1965 with the successful ¨The Rounders¨ (1965) with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford , later producing and directing the pilot for the TV series of the same name. ¨Support you local gunfighter¨ results to be one of his best Western . The film will appeal to absurd, unruly , wacky Western comedy fans . This raucous Western spoof is a James Garner vehicle , if you like his particular performance , you'll enjoy this one .
  • This movie, while funny in many places, pales in comparison to the earlier Support Your Local Sheriff. The first movie, with much of the same cast, is a solid 10 but I can only give this one a 7 at best. All of the actors who were in both movies did a better job in the first one and Joan Hackett was surprisingly better than Suzanne Pleshette.

    They just aired them back to back and the superiority of Sheriff was glaringly apparent. Sheriff flows along smoothly with great dialog but this one seems to stutter and try too hard. The premise of the first movie is also better and the opening scene sets the tone for the hilarity that follows. Again this one just doesn't do that as well. I always liked Garner and he was brilliant in both movies but maybe they should have quit while they were ahead and never made this one.
  • utgard148 January 2014
    A man named Latigo (James Garner) arrives in a mining town and pits two warring factions against each other. Disappointing follow-up to Support Your Local Sheriff. It's not really a sequel, despite the same director and three returning cast members. This is unfortunate as the character Garner played in the last film was much more fun to watch. This character, Latigo, is not very likable and hard to root for. Suzanne Pleshette's character is a psychotic and there seems to be no reason for it. It's pretty annoying, actually. She's nowhere near as likable as Joan Hackett in Support Your Local Sheriff. Jack Elam plays a similar role to the last film but not as funny. This is the main problem with the movie. It's just not very funny.
  • A con artist arrives in a mining town controlled by two competing companies. Both companies think he is a famous gunfighter and try to hire him to drive the other out of town.

    Another reviewer pointed out that even after all this time (42 years as I write this) the film is still funny and fresh. I have to agree with them completely. I never saw the film before now and I thought much of it was clever, original and just witty enough to be a solid film.

    I have not seen much of James Garner's work, and now I think perhaps I should. Between this and "Maverick", he seems to be the unsung hero of the west. (Or at least under-sung, with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood holding the "sung" category down by themselves.)
  • Support Your Local Gunfighter is not a sequel to Support Your Local Sheriff. Nor is it a film taking a look at how the other half lives in the wild west of Hollywood. But what it is is a rollicking good comedy with a cast of some of the best players around.

    Burt Kennedy brought over a whole flock of people from the other 'Support' film starting with James Garner and Jack Elam. Garner had patented playing cynical con men starting with Maverick on television. He's certainly showed he's got the acting chops to play serious parts. But he keeps getting cast as these conman comics because he's so darn good at it.

    As for Jack Elam, he became an almost permanent fixture in Burt Kennedy projects as a result of Support Your Local Sheriff. Talk about making lemonade out of a lemon. Elam first used his blind eye to great effect playing psychotic killers when he first broke into acting. But in the sixties he began using that same look for comedy and never really played serious after becoming a Burt Kennedy regular.

    Garner and Elam are a pair of amiable drifters who wind up in a mining town called Purgatory. There's a pair of rival mine owners, Harry Morgan and John Dehner who are tunneling under the town to reach the mother lode vein of gold that will make one of them fabulously wealthy. Dehner's purportedly sent for a notorious gunman and Morgan and his partners think it could be Garner. It isn't, but Garner and Elam play it for all it's worth.

    Suzanne Pleshette steps into the Calamity Jane wannabe part that Joan Hackett did in Support Your Local Sheriff and Pleshette does it most effectively. Joan Blondell and Marie Windsor are a pair of bordello madams each courted by Garner at one time. Hell hath no fury like a jilted madam. You've got to see Garner with that line about a spur and a dying cowhand's last wish.

    Even Chuck Connors as the real gunfighter playing it absolutely straight comes in for some good laughs. But I do like Harry Morgan courting Dehner's old maid sister Ellen Corby, love isn't just for the young, the two show love isn't just for the young.

    The ending; to bizarre for words, worthy of Mel Brooks. You have to see Support Your Local Gunfighter to believe it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well, a B for effort. It tries hard. Everyone except Garner overplays it in this rip off of "Yojimbo" or "For a Fistful of Dollars." (Take your pick.) Garner is a con man who rides into the town of Purgatory. Two sides are in battle over the contents of a gold mine and they mistake him for the manager of a hired gunslinger. He bilks both sides, meanwhile romancing Suzanne Pleshette.

    Garner is smooth and transparently phony. He smirks a good deal. But every other character seems to dash about, shout at one another, and shoot guns wildly. The mistaken assumption is that frenzy -- even pointless frenzy -- is in itself funny. The film itself disproves the theorem.

    For instance, if anyone can find anything amusing about a bar room brawl that breaks out for no reason at all, please let me know so I can send you a personal check for sixteen cents that will bounce. We've all seen a thousand such brawls, with men being pushed through windows, hit over the back with balsam wood chairs, looking cross-eyed when punched, and the bartender is frantically trying to save the mirror. They've been used to far greater comic effect in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and even the unsuccessful "Donovan's Reef." And for dramatic effect nothing equals the fist fight in "Shane." This one could have been written, directed, and edited by a Magic 8 Ball.

    It was directed by Burt Kennedy, who developed some subtle and witty dialog in the movies he wrote for Randolph Scott in the 1950s. "Ma'am, if you was my woman I'd of come for you, even if I'd of died in the doin' of it." It's almost folk poetry. But, as a director, there's not much he can do with this script, whose funniest dialog runs along the lines of, "Madam, unhinge your jaw and DEPART!"
  • Support Your Local Gunfighter is charming. It's interesting how this isn't a sequel to Support Your Local Sheriff, even though it features many of the same actors. It's completely silly, especially the ending, and it's totally predictable, but there's something endearing about this story about a con man in the old west. Rest in peace, James Garner.
  • Turner South showed "Support Your Local Sheriff" and "Support Your Local Gunfight" back-to-back on Sunday night (11/20). And after enjoying my umpteenth viewing of "Sheriff", I tried to enjoy "Gunfighter" – after failing to do so the first time I saw it, a few years ago.

    Admittedly, the first time I watched "Gunfighter", I quit watching it less than thirty-minutes into the movie, because it just didn't seem to be doing what "Sheriff" did so well.

    This time, thanks to some of the comments of other IMDb users, I stuck with it . . . and I finally got the point. Even though I don't like "Gunfigher" nearly as much as "Sheriff", I think I understand why I don't like it as much as its predecessor.

    Without going on and on about the differences – "Sheriff" offers idealistic and hero-worshiping viewers like me a character who Waltzes through life with complete confidence, solving problems quickly and easily.

    "Gunfighter", on the other hand, is about a morally confused person who seems reluctant to do any honest work, and who prefers to make desperate attempts to con the local residences out of a few bucks.

    The defining moment in "Sheriff" is the scene in which Gardner goes on a picnic with Joanne Hatchet and realizes that his plan to leave town before the big gun battle with the bad guys (which he plans to do) would be a cowardly act.

    "Gunfighter" doesn't contain a scene like this one – and James Garner's character does not have the kind of moral fiber that would permit the story to include this kind of scene.

    For this reason, "Gunfighter" is decidedly inferior to "Sheriff".

    But, for the record, "Maverick" (1994 – which also starred James Garner – contains many scenes which compare favorably to "Support Your Local Sheriff".

    Oddly enough, Turner South showed "Maverick" right after "Support Your Local Gunfighter" on the afore-mentioned Sunday night.

    Weird, eh?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw "Support Your Local Sheriff" and enjoyed it so much that I immediately rented "Support Your Local Gunfighter" which I knew was similar. In terms of style, actors used, humor, character types and genre, the two are almost identical. The director Burt Kennedy is also the same. Also, both spoof earlier famous westerns (the first "Rio Bravo" and the like, the second "Yojimbo."). I enjoyed SYLS more than SYLG, though. I would rate the first movie a 9 out of 10—a real gem; the second I'd rate 3 out of 10—disappointing but not a complete waste.

    The main difference had to do with the likability of Garner's character. In SYLS, although smooth and suave, the Garner character is never deceptive. In fact, part of the humor is his flat honesty (as when he tells Prudy that he can't be in a committed relationship even before she even shows much interest in one). He also has real, not fake, talent, since his shooting ability is practically supernatural.

    In SYLG, the Garner character is nothing but a smooth fraud. From the very first scene, we watch him sneak away from his betrothed with fistloads of cash he's swindled from her. The first thing he does when getting into town is con a rich older lady into a relationship. Really? At least Robert Preston chose the prettiest and smartest woman in town to woo in "Music Man." This is just slimy, going after rich older women. The Garner character hires on as a gunfighter, but, in this account, he's not even an average shooter. That didn't impress me. I found the subplot where the Garner character keeps betting $4600 on 23 black (and losing) annoying also.

    SYLS was a real oddity: a film with conservative values made during the liberal era of "Hair," "The Graduate," and "Bonnie and Clyde." The subtext of this earlier film supports ideas like "An orderly town is superior to one full of violence and bullying," "When you take a job, you have certain responsibilities," and "Authority should come from real, not fake, talent." At its core, it was a tongue-in-cheek wish-fulfillment fantasy for those of us that believe a permissive, disorderly society hasn't been such a great improvement, but that with the right leader in charge, this problem could be solved. SYLG had no such appealing subtext. A rather shifty, fast-talking opportunist winds up getting the gal and a whole lot of money mostly by luck—a movie to be enjoyed more as droll character study and parody with a couple of mildly cute scenes than as something special that can be savored.
  • A follow-up rather than a sequel to "Support Your Local Sheriff", this rollicking Western comedy shares the same director and some of the same cast, but works as a self-contained story. James Garner is at his most charming as Latigo Smith, a rascally con artist in the Old West who's currently trying to escape Goldie (Marie Windsor), the woman he just married. He gets off a train in the small time mining town of Purgatory, where he makes friends with amiable old cowhand Jug May (Jack Elam). He learns that two local bigwigs, Taylor Barton (Harry Morgan) and Colonel Ames (John Dehner), are at war over mining interests, and that Ames has hired a notorious gunslinger named 'Swifty' Morgan. Sensing the opportunity for a con, and a hefty payday, Latigo tries to palm off Jug as Swifty. Then, inevitably, the real Swifty turns up.

    I wouldn't be honest if I said that I laughed all that much at this movie (scripted by James Edward Grant, and directed by Burt Kennedy, both Western veterans). But it's just so lively, memorably performed, and incredibly LOUD (with explosions aplenty) that it's far from boring. Garner does have tremendous fun with his role, as Latigo attempts to remove an embarrassing tattoo from his chest and continuously has a weakness for the number 23. Elam delivers one of his most likable performances of all time. The cast is simply stacked with familiar faces; among them are Joan Blondell, Henry Jones, Dub Taylor, Kathleen Freeman, Dick Curtis, Willis Bouchey, Walter Burke, Gene Evans, Grady Sutton, and Ellen Corby. (You won't hear who plays the real Swifty from me; it's a special treat.) Everybody plays this material for all that they're worth. Sometimes they don't so much speak their dialogue as yell it. The only real drawback is the lovely Suzanne Pleshettes' love interest character Patience; this is a ridiculous woman who overreacts a LOT. Ms. Pleshette herself is fine; it's just the character as written that is a problem.

    Things get off to a bright start and remain fun right up through the final monologue by Jug that reveals the fates of key players. People will howl in appreciation at his final line.

    Seven out of 10.
  • Occasional knee-slapping follow up to "… Local Sheriff" (1969). It's over-the-top, except for Garner, who plays his clever Maverick character right down to the gentlemanly attire. But it's a goofy Elam who steals the film as a gunfighter whose spastic moves and relentless mugging appear to be on a different wave-length from planet Earth. Meanwhile, Pleshette manages her berserk gunfire in comical fashion, that is, when not beating up on the nearest guy. Plot-wise, it seems two mining outfits are trying to sabotage each other using fair means but mainly foul. Each wants to employ, yes, the fastest gun in the West, who turns out to be, not Elam, but a bald Chuck Connors who's apparently left his rifle and hair back in the '50's.

    At times, the movie tries a little too hard to keep up the comedic pace and various gimmicks. Plus Garner's little roulette fixation comes across as rather clunky given the generally light-hearted pace. But get a load of the great supporting cast. So many familiar names and faces from that era and earlier (Blondell). I'm glad a lot of these deserving folks got a payday and some screen time. (Look fast for WC Field's favorite Grady Sutton in a small role.) Anyway, it's a fun 90-minutes with that master of the sly grin, Jim Garner, and a cast of fun-loving roustabouts.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hilarious, but not nearly as funny as, or as good overall, as Support Your Local Sheriff, which shares many of the same cast as this one, and the same director. Burt Kennedy was good with comedy, whether he was directing Garner in this and Support Your Local Sheriff, or he was directing John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in The War Wagon. I love the scenes with the double meanings involving the donkeys. Priceless! Chuck Connors gives a good performance as a bald outlaw, who in the end, has boot trouble. I enjoy the last line, last scene with Jack Elam. He says that he went on to star in "Italian westerns". Coincidentally, he was in an Italian western, a Sergio Leone film, "Once Upon a Time in the West", playing the role of Snaky, a member of Henry Fonda's character's gang. 'Nuff said!
  • Latigo Smith (James Garner) is a ladies man, a gambler and a con man. He escapes from brothel madam Goldie who intends to marry him and sneaks off the train at the mining town of Purgatory. He befriends Jug May (Jack Elam) and asks the doc to remove his Goldie tattoo. Taylor Barton (Harry Morgan) and his family mistakenly assume him to be gunslinger Swifty Morgan hired by rival mine owner Col. Ames. Taylor's impetuous daughter Patience "The Sidewinder" (Suzanne Pleshette) is quick to shoot and eager to go to a college back east. Smith comes up with a scheme to pass Jug off as Swifty but it all comes to bite him.

    This is a follow up to 'Support Your Local Sheriff!' but is not actually a sequel. Many of the same actors return in different roles in a different story. It's funny. James Garner is a great fun cad and I love Jack Elam. This one improves by getting Suzanne Pleshette who is a much funnier actress than Joan Hackett. This is simply a fun franchise that is anchored by the great Garner.
  • This is really just a live-action cartoon with the same ultra-minimal entertainment value as the thinnest material on Cartoon Network (in case you're in a part of the world where that's available). It may help you get through a night when you have to stay up and have absolutely no other way to pass the time.

    The gags are so witless and so wearily timed that when the payoff comes, you may literally think, "Is that it?" Dial your expectations 'way down -- and then double down, just to be on the safe side -- before trying to let this entertain you.

    Still, barren though it is, I didn't find SYLG downright annoying (not having paid to see it, but caught it on TV). Once I realized that I was not going to be laughing, I turned my attention to the cavalcade of familiar faces. The cast is full of actors great and small (well, medium-sized and small) riding into the sunset of active careers. Here's a partial list:

    Joan Blondell, whose Hollywood credits do make "medium-sized" seem slighting. The definitive wisecracking blonde of variable respectability but constantly good heart who, it seems, can never be rich or thin. Her best moment of a great many may be in Topper Returns (1941).

    Marie Windsor, the definitive tough dame of film noir. Catch her in Force of Evil (1948) and The Narrow Margin (1952).

    John Dehner, who played Paladin in Have Gun, Will Travel on the radio and later turned up everywhere on television. His voice was so authoritative and his presence so strong that I always thought of him as a star making a cameo appearance.

    Ellen Corby, who worked a corner in mousy little women -- often blighted or crusty, occasionally endearing, sometimes incomparably sinister. She has her moment in films as different as It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Vertigo (1958), and through nearly five decades of American television.

    Herb Vigran, the ultimate example of the ubiquitous bit player whose name you don't know. You'd recognize him, though, by the heavy eyebrows, the comfortable paunch, the non-threatening height and receding hairline, and above all the complacent nasal baritone of the guy next door (if your door be in the Midwestern US). Have a look at his credits on IMDb when you're in the mood for a LOT of scrolling.

    Kathleen Freeman, hearty and apple-cheeked, often cast as Swedes or other blonde ethnics but also in many general supporting parts where her character either requires respect or fails to give it. You may remember her as the elocution teacher in Singin' in the Rain ("I cahhhhn't stand him").

    Willis Bouchey, another actor with an authoritative voice who seems always to have been white-haired and recreating a real-life career as a judge, doctor, businessman, military officer, or politician. When he's not crooked, he's the soul of integrity.

    Dub Taylor, who began life in Virginia and, if anything, became more Southern after that. From his Hollywood debut as an amiable Alabaman in You Can't Take It with You (1938), he was the quintessential Southerner or other rustic who is never at a loss for words, always overflowing with the rural idiom though not always with the milk of human kindness. In the age of television, he blended so naturally into the world of The Andy Griffith Show that he could turn up as various characters.

    Several actors returning from the earlier Support Your Local Sheriff: Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Henry Jones, and Walter Burke, as well as Freeman and Bouchey (above): a core of supporting players with centuries of constant work in film and television among them. Of course, there's also the star, James Garner.

    The fact that so many of the same actors appear in both a good comedy and a very poor attempt at comedy along the same lines serves to remind us that actors can't do much to strengthen a weak script. True, Walter Huston said, "Hell, I ain't paid to make good lines sound good. I'm paid to make bad lines sound good." But even stars can't make a whole movie sound or look much better than it is. Supporting players who specialize in types are limited to bringing those types to work and making us associate the inferior movie at hand with the better ones we've seen them in.

    That, for me, was the only pleasure to be had in watching Support Your Local Gunfighter: watching experienced actors do a job with their usual competence and apparent good cheer, all digging together toward the mother lode of paychecks for everyone.
  • Be careful, you just might laugh till your side splits. This movie is rated "G" which stands for GREAT! Hollywood doesn't make movies like this one anymore. Shame! I don't understand why this is. Perhaps it's the obvious where censorship has gone by the wayside because Hollywood has capitulated to the almighty dollar. But that's no excuse as far as I'm concerned, it may also be because there just aren't any present-day actors worthy of filling the shoes of the immortals like, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, even James Garner for that fact. There are still a multitude of great actors I haven't named, but you know who they are/were. This film is so great it doesn't need cgi effects, gratuitous sex, violence or profanity, yet still it stands the test of time. James Garner is at his best, Jack Elam's performance is simply precious (he was made for comedy) and the supporting cast is just phenomenal, especially the immortal Harry Morgan. Another great flick of the same genre with the same leading cast is "Support your local Sheriff" I can't decide which one I like better!
  • This attempt to duplicate the success of "Support Your Local Sheriff!" fails badly. (Perhaps it was the lack of an exclamation point in the title.)

    Right from the stat, the story falls flat on its face and never gets up. We're never given a reason why we should be concerned about the characters. (We don't have to like them, just be interested in them.)

    From the moment he appears, James Garner's character is a cipher -- who cares what happens to him, good or bad? This is a remarkable "achievement", as James Garner is one of the most-engaging actors who ever lived.

    The other reviews complaining that the characters or dull or uninvolving pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a mildly irritating bore from beginning to end.
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