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Last Train from Gun Hill

Last Train from Gun Hill

5.0 1
Director: John Sturges

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones


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Just outside the small town of Pauley, a Native American woman is attacked by two riders on horseback, raped, and killed. Her husband, Matt Morgan (Kirk Douglas), the town marshal, has only two clues to their identity, a fancy saddle with the initials "C.B." that one of the men left behind, and the fact that his wife cut one of the two men deep across the cheek with a


Just outside the small town of Pauley, a Native American woman is attacked by two riders on horseback, raped, and killed. Her husband, Matt Morgan (Kirk Douglas), the town marshal, has only two clues to their identity, a fancy saddle with the initials "C.B." that one of the men left behind, and the fact that his wife cut one of the two men deep across the cheek with a buggy whip. Morgan traces the saddle to Craig Belden (Anthony Quinn), an old friend and now a wealthy rancher in the town of Gun Hill, but he knows Belden well enough to know that he couldn't have had anything to do with attacking his wife. Morgan's arrival with Belden's saddle sets off ugly rumblings in Gun Hill, and when he confronts the rancher, he discovers that it was his son Rick (Earl Holliman) who had his horse and the saddle, and rode out with a cowhand friend of his, Lee (Brian G. Hutton) -- but they claim their horses were stolen. Belden tries to convince Morgan, and wants to believe himself that whoever stole the horses must have killed his wife, but when Morgan mentions the cut that one of the killers will have on his face, they both know the truth. He vows to take Rick and Lee back to Pauley to stand trial, while Belden swears he'll do anything it takes to protect his son. Belden is virtually all the law there is in Gun Hill -- the sheriff (Walter Sande) won't help Morgan serve his arrest warrants on the two men, or even let him use the jail to hold them until the last train that night; there's not a working man, a shopkeeper, or even a prostitute in the whole town that will go against the rancher, and Belden's foreman Beero (Brad Dexter) and his men will strongarm anyone who might start feeling brave. Only Linda (Carolyn Jones), a woman who has been both romanced and abused by Belden, will lift a finger on Morgan's behalf. The marshal is nothing if not resourceful, however, and Rick Belden is also too stupid for his own good, and manages to fall into Morgan's hands in short order. Very quickly, a standoff ensues, with Morgan holding Rick in one of Belden's buildings against virtually the entire town, while the deadline -- the last train out of Gun Hill that night -- approaches. People die and a chunk of Belden's holdings are destroyed, but Morgan is about to get Rick onto the train and off to trial when suddenly, one sudden act of violence destroys father and son in a matter of seconds.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Last Train From Gun Hill is one of John Sturges' less well regarded movies from the late '50s, for reasons that are difficult to fathom. That it should stand in the shadow of The Magnificent Seven (1960), with the latter's all-star cast and epic storyline, is understandable, but it also enjoys a less substantial reputation than Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), which is ironic since Sturges himself never thought of the latter as much more than a somewhat profitable directorial assignment. In terms of its story, Last Train From Gun Hill offers striking parallels with Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), which is usually regarded as Sturges' masterpiece. Both movies' plots unfold around acts of violence committed for racist reasons; both involve lone heroes, trapped in isolated, unfriendly towns where they've come to do a job setting some injustice right, and end up fighting for their lives; and both involve villains who, despite enjoying the support of most of the townspeople around them, end up not only losing their respective battles but inadvertently causing the death of the person closest to them. Kirk Douglas has a role that is an ideal vehicle for the intensity that he can bring to the screen, as the aggrieved town marshal looking for the two men who raped and murdered his wife. And Anthony Quinn, playing a part filled with great moral ambiguity than was customary for this era in movies (especially Westerns), is his match as the basically decent man whose biggest crime was raising a rotten, cowardly, murderous son, but who will do anything to protect that son. Earl Holliman, graduating to major roles after supporting parts in movies such as Sturges' Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, gives one of his best performances as the spoiled, sniveling coward of a son, who ultimately evokes a slight degree of pity to go with the obvious contempt that he deserves. Carolyn Jones turns in one of her always on-target performances as a fallen woman seeking to restore her dignity and independence, and Brad Dexter -- who was so strangely invisible in The Magnificent Seven -- gives one of the best performances of his career as Beero, the tough, calculating foreman of Quinn's ranch. With a suspense element similar to that of High Noon -- the clock is ticking in the viewer's consciousness from the moment that Douglas' character vows to take Holliman's Rick Belden out of town and to trial on the last train, at 9:00 p.m. -- the result is a highly suspenseful film built around a fascinating array of characters.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirk Douglas Matt Morgan
Anthony Quinn Craig Belden
Carolyn Jones Linda
Earl Holliman Rick Belden
Brad Dexter Beero
Brian G. Hutton Lee
Ziva Rodann Catherine Morgan
Bing Russell Skag
Val Avery Bartender
Walter Sande Sheriff Bartlett
Eric Alden Actor
Dabbs Greer Andy
Frank S. Hagney One of Craig's Men
Ty Hardin Cowboy
Lars Henderson Walter Sande
Len Hendry Man in Lobby
Ricky Kelman Boy
Jack Lomas Charlie
Mara Lynn Minnie
Mike Mahoney Drummer on Train
Hank Mann Storekeeper
William Newell Hotel Clerk
Tony Russo Pinto
Carl Saxe Actor
Charles Stevens Keno
Glenn Strange Saloon Bouncer
Julius Tannen Cleaning Man
Sid Tomack Roomer
Henry Wills Jake
Bob Scott Conductor

Technical Credits
John Sturges Director
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Warren Low Editor
D. Michael Moore Asst. Director
Paul Nathan Associate Producer
Hal Pereira Art Director
James Poe Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Walter Tyler Art Director
Hal B. Wallis Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. No So Fast [6:11]
2. Marshal Morgan [5:32]
3. Want That Saddle [7:16]
4. Tell Him I'm Coming [7:17]
5. The Mark [6:33]
6. Just an Indian Squaw [8:07]
7. I Am the Law [8:36]
8. Standoff [6:08]
9. Laying Odds [4:38]
10. Keep the Money [7:26]
11. Saved Lives [7:15]
12. Shotgun [5:52]
13. Do What He Says [7:51]
14. Draw! [5:25]


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Last Train from Gun Hill 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watch this movie all the time. I never get tired of it. Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Shirley Jones, and of course, Earl Holliman in his usual hateful role. This was a really well made movie. You will enjoy this classic, there's a lot of tension.