Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.
November 5, 1955 (1955-11-05)
N.B. Stone Jr. (story), Richard Wilson (story)
Man with the Gun is a 1955 black-and-white Western film starring Robert Mitchum. The film was released in the United Kingdom as The Trouble Shooter and is also sometimes entitled Deadly Peacemaker. The supporting cast includes Jan Sterling, and Karen Sharpe. The film was photographed in standard Academy ratio, written by N. B. Stone Jr and Richard Wilson, and directed by Wilson.
Clint Tollinger arrives in the town of Sheridan City to see Nelly Bain, but she refuses to see him. One of the residents recognizes him as a "town tamer", a gun for hire who cleans up lawless communities. After 14 killings and 31 robberies in past year, followed by the (non-fatal) shooting of Jeff Castle (who does not like Tollinger's methods) and the unwillingness of the town marshal to oppose Dade Holman and his gang, the town council reluctantly hires Tollinger for $500. Tollinger has the marshal deputize him, then insists on doing things his way without interference. Tollinger begins by warning two known gunmen to leave town. He then begins to disarm everyone in the town. Then in an unseen confrontation, he kills a man.
Four men ride into town looking for Tollinger. He gets the drop on them with a shotgun. He orders them to drop the guns in their hands, and they do so. When he puts down his shotgun, one reaches for his holstered pistol, only to discover that Tolliver is faster to the draw. Reedy (an uncredited Claude Akins), their leader, takes off his hat and trades small talk with him, then reaches for a gun hidden in the hat, but Tollinger shoots him dead too.
At a social event, one of the town women advises Tollinger that his job will not be finished until the dance hall girls also leave town. She criticizes them for dancing and carrying on, unaware that Tollinger is knows their madam. When Tollinger warns Nelly Bain about the new curfew he is instituting, she tells him she and the girls will be moving on further west and asks him for the name of any town where he won't be.
Two men ride into town to tell Tollinger that they have detained Castle for trespassing and invite him to pick Castle up at Holman's ranch. Instead, Tollinger arrests the two for carrying guns in town and exchanges them for Castle.
It is eventually revealed that Nelly is Tolliver's wife, but she left him because she could not bear being married to a gunfighter. He only wants to know how their daughter Beth is doing. Jealous of the growing attraction of Stella Atkins, Jeff's girlfriend, to Tolliver, Nelly finally tells him that Beth is dead. Tollinger takes it badly. His patience and calm demeanor suddenly gone, he burns down Holman's saloon, killing the manager "Frenchy" Lescaux when he tries to knife him in the back.
Zender sets up a trap for Tollinger. Holmam rides into town in a surrey to watch. Nelly learns by chance that Zender is Holman's lawyer, so she tries to warn Tolliver. Tollinger kills his would-be killer, but is shot in the shoulder by Holman. Castle kills Holman. Nelly and Tollinger, who says he is getting out of the business, kiss and are reconciled.
The New York Times reviewer called the film "an engrossing adventure" and "several cuts above the norm for this genre."
ReferencesMan with the Gun Wikipedia
Man with the Gun IMDb Man with the Gun themoviedb.org