TOP GUN (1955)

Top Gun Cover Now this silly review doesn't have anything to do with the Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, and Val Kilmer, 1986 action-adventure. Instead, this silly review is about a 71 minute western made in 1955. It was Directed by: Ray Nazarro; and Starred: Sterling Hayden, William Bishop, Karin Booth, with James Millican. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, flyboy.

Top Gun

As soon as I came into town I couldn't help but notice that nobody wanted me to be here, Sheriff Davis (James Millican). And do you know what? I don't blame them, either. Especially if you take into consideration my dubious track record!

So I suppose what I'm trying to say, my friend, is even though I can understand why you won't allow me to help you repel those raiders I told you about previously. What I don't understand is why anyone in their right minds would trust that so-called businessman, Canby Judd (William Bishop)!

Hey! Don't get ahead of yourself, Sheriff. My feeling's for this little twerp doesn't have anything to do with how he wrangled his way into the affections of my childhood sweetheart, Laura Mead (Karin Booth). The reason I don't trust Canby is because he swindled my deceased mother out of her property, plus I have a sneaking suspicion he's behind those raiders getting ready for an attack.

Anyway. That's my two cent's worth. Take it or leave it. Me? I'm gonna leave. But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires kicks ass when Canby comes up to me and says, 'Now before you go, Rick Martin (Sterling Hayden), I'd like to offer you a very devilish proposition'. As a Sheriff takes a fall - a gang of raiders have a ball - a two-sided pact goes old school - and at the end of the day, a lone gunslinger is nobody's fool.

[ Sorry. No Trailer For This One, Folks ]

In a round about way 'Top Gun' reminded me of a watered-down version of the 1952 Gary Cooper classic, 'High Noon'. Essentially it tells the tale of a maverick gunslinger who comes into town to warn the local inhabitants they're about to be attacked by a group of outlaws. And then, when he offers them his services, for previously explained reasons they turn him away, even though deep down inside these people know their going to need his noted assistance sooner or later

Top Gun 1955 Vintage Film Poster Starring Sterling Hayden
Now please don't get me wrong, dear reader. My 'watered-down' remark wasn't meant to be taken as a slight. By in large this timely western was very well acted and very well produced. Plus I have to admit that I did enjoy how each of the characters were cleanly defined within the confines of its premise. You had the good guys. You had the bad guys. You had those businessmen. Plus you had the token love interest as well as the amicable aide. 

It's just that when you compare 'Top' to 'Noon' -- which I'm afraid I have -- you can't help but draw the parallels in each instance. In the case of this production for example, it was still a pretty decent story-line to follow, despite it being slightly more diluted than the previous '1952 standard'. What's more it also had that way of delaying the inevitable -- especially where Sterling's character was concerned -- which kind of made it slightly irritable -- especially if you've already seen 'High Noon' and guessed the rest of the plot.

Again. No offence implied. Although I suppose what I'm trying to say -- in a rather long-winded fashion -- is that you'll most probably enjoy this western a lot more if you haven't watched the other Cooper classic beforehand.

Top Gun 1955 Vintage Film Poster Starring Sterling Hayden

Top Gun 1955 Vintage Film Poster Starring Sterling HaydenPhew! Thank God I managed to get that off my chest. I thought I was going to explode there with my mumbled musings. Anyway. I'm sure you got the basic gist of what I thought about this movie. It's a very good solid movie that has a great bunch of characters plus a tried and tested plot. And if that's not enough for you, my friend, what now follows are its filmic fact's. (1) 'United Artists' first released this production in America on the exact same month Rosa Parks took a stand against racial inequality -- September, 1955. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Undefeated' in Austria; 'Invincible Pistol' in Finland; and 'A Man of Steel' in Sweden. (3) The majority of this movie was shot at 'Samuel Goldwyn Studios', Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, as well as on location at Jack Ingram Ranch, Los Angeles, California. (4) Richard Schayer was the scriptwriter who adapted this movie for the silver screen, and he's best known for writing the 1932 Boris Karloff horror-classic, 'The Mummy'. (5) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'Give Us All The Whiskey, Gold And Women In Town, Or We'll Burn It To The Ground!'. (6) This was the first American production to star the venerable actor, Rod Taylor. Previously he did most of his work within his native homeland of Australia. (7) If you look very closely at that scene where Martin is about to get framed by Canby, you can clearly see a car's headlights moving across the mountain road behind him. Opps! Visual gaff! (8) After this adventure ate an apple, Sterling Hayden starred in the film-noir, 'The Come On'; William Bishop starred an episode of 'Celebrity Playhouse'; and Karin Booth starred in the TV Series, 'Casablanca'.

Top Gun 1955 Movie Still

Overall I'd say 'High Noon'... errr... sorry... I mean 'Top Gun' was a very good film for it's time. Sterling, William, Karin, and James really did help the plot with their precise characterizations. And as for the plot on the other hand, well, yeah, that was good too. For previously mumbled reasons.

Ha! Nuff said.