Gunpoint Cover Being a lawman in the Wild West wasn't very easy you know. You had to wear a hat all the time. You had to shot a gun when needed. Plus you had to stay alive in this rip roaring adventure Directed by: Earl Bellamy; and Starring: Audie Murphy, Joan Staley, with Warren Stevens. It was made in 1966, and lasted for a whole 86 minutes.


'Take a rest' he says to me. 'You defiantly need some time to recover from all those injuries you sustained in that train robbery earlier on in the day' he continues.

But I don't listen to the doc. No sir-re, Bob. I'm Sheriff Chad Lucas (Audie Murphy), God damn it. And I've got to get my hands on the outlaw, Drago (Morgan Woodward), before he causes any more mischief in this vicinity.

Huh? What's that you say? I spoke to soon? Not only has he and his men robbed that train, but they've also suddenly kidnapped Uvalde (Joan Staley) from under her boyfriends very nose? You know. What's-his-name. Nate Harlan (Warren Stevens).

Oh, sh*t!!!! That means me, Nate, Cap (Denver Pyle), and a handful of my men, have to chase all over the Wild West after Drago. Dodging Apaches, running away from large boulders, and basically trying not to get ourselves killed whilst attempting to apprehend this fiend at the very same time.  

Heck, if I wasn't such a hard-ass law-man and didn't know of Uvalde in a previous life, I don't think I'd bother. Still. That's most probably explains why what next transpires all takes a u-turn when Cap shows his true colors. As death comes in three's - scavengers bend at the knees - outlaws can't escape the law - and do you know that boyfriends aren't very quick at the draw.

BANG! See?

Oh, dear. What a shame. I wanted to like 'Gunpoint'. Honestly I did. But I'm afraid to say that it wasn't all that good really. The acting was fine. The production values were very dated. The story-line felt too formulaic. And overall the entire piece came across like something I've already seen a thousand times before.

Audie Murphy in Gunpoint
Hey! Don't get me wrong, pal. Not everything about this flick was total pants. I did like how Warren's and Audie's characters seemed very opposite by nature. With one of them being the charming fiend, whilst the other one was a surly lawman. Furthermore, I did get a right kick out of watching all of those pithy gun-battles too. As a small part of me did truly get the urge to leap out of my chair and play 'Cowboys and Indians' all of a sudden. Also, I've got to mention those wonderful panoramic and rustic shots this film has on offer. In my own humble opinion the majority of those expansive visuals really did tick a lot of boxes where it came to grander and scope.  

But as for the rest of this movie on the other hand -- well -- no -- not really -- it just wasn't my cup of tea at all.  

On a cosmetic level it kind of reminded me of a western version of the sixties Batman television series. With its vivid and bold color palette lighting up the screen a mite too much for my own tastes. Then I'd say that the pacing was very lop-sided in execution. Never having any form of consistent tempo or vibe where tension or tone was concerned. And finally, I have a sneaking suspicion that some dubious studio executive said to the makers of this movie, 'We need a couple of throw away elements inserted into this film just to give it a longer running time', mainly because some of the sub-plots included didn't seem to go anywhere with my now benefit of hindsight.

Gunpoint Movie Poster

Gunpoint Film Poster
Anyway, before I bash 'Gunpoint' too much, here, let's have some filmic facts. (1) 'Universal International' first released this $500 thousand dollar production in Finland on the 18th of March, 1966. (2) Earl Bellamy, who directed this flick, also directed such television shows as 'The Love Boat', 'CHiPs', 'V', and 'Hart to Hart'. (3) When Elda Furry asked Audie Murphy what this film was all about, he replied back to this star from the silent-era by saying to her, 'Same story, only we're getting older horses'. (4) This was the first full feature length film Robert Pine ever starred in. Afterwards, he would become a television mainstay, most noticeable for his appearances in 'CHiPs', and 'Murder, She Wrote'. (5) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'The Colt Is the Law' in Finland; 'Killing or Falling' in Brazil; and 'Betrayal and Oblivion' in Spain. (6) Quite a bit of this picture was shot on location within the American city of St. George, which is situated in the state Utah. (7) Please pay very close attention to Audie's 'magic riffle' during certain battle scenes thought this piece. Sometimes he's holding it. Sometimes it's in his holster. And sometimes it's just nowhere to be seen. Ops! Continuity glitch. (8) After this movie was made, Joan Staley starred in an episode of 'Batman', Warren Stevens starred in an episode of 'The Big Valley', and by his own accord Audie went to work in Europe for a number of years.

Audie Murphy, Joan Staley, with Warren Stevensin, in Gunpoint Poster

Overall I'd say that 'Gunpoint' was a film that fires a lot of blanks. The story was predictable. The characters showed great promise. The execution was lop-sided and ill-paced. And all in all this one is for die hard Western fans only.

Nuff said.


GUNPOINT GUNPOINT Reviewed by David Andrews on November 19, 2013 Rating: 5
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