Gun Runners

The Gun Runners

Director: Don Siegel, Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert, Patricia Owens

Cast: Don Siegel, Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert, Patricia Owens

     
 
The third and (as of 2005) the last film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story To Have and Have Not, The Gun Runners was as topical as this morning's news when it came out in 1958. Audie Murphy plays Sam Martin, a charter-boat skipper based in Key West, whose bad luck has enlarged from the gambling tables to his business. He's managed to stay

Overview

The third and (as of 2005) the last film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story To Have and Have Not, The Gun Runners was as topical as this morning's news when it came out in 1958. Audie Murphy plays Sam Martin, a charter-boat skipper based in Key West, whose bad luck has enlarged from the gambling tables to his business. He's managed to stay honest up to this point, with a little help from his boozy friend and first-mate, Harvey (Everett Sloane), and a lot from his loyal, loving wife, Lucy (Patricia Owens), both of whom represent the best things in Sam's life. But then he finds himself about to lose his boat, and the only opportunity he has to save it lies with a larcenous American arms seller named Hannagan (Eddie Albert), who isn't above murder to get what he wants. Sam falls in with him, first for a quick trip in and out of Cuba and then up to his neck, and he is suddenly faced with destroying the most decent part of himself and the only people who care about him.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Don Siegel spent most of the 1950s trying to find a successful vehicle for his talents, bouncing from one project to another, some suited to his talents (such as Riot in Cell Block 11) and others not (An Annapolis Story), but The Gun Runners was one of his saddest failures. Based on Ernest Hemingway's short story To Have and Have Not, it offered a lot to the viewer, including Audie Murphy pushing himself hard to avoid the shadow of Humphrey Bogart in the role of the charter-boat skipper caught between arms smugglers and the law; Eddie Albert, and Everett Sloane doing their usual excellent work; vivid, gritty exteriors (marred by only a brief, obvious process shot); and a hard-as-nails approach to the action, far removed from Howard Hawks' highly stylized version of 1944. The only flaw was that, in trying for realism and avoiding the pitfalls of a Hollywood "look," Siegel made the movie seem a little too flat in conventional terms for most audiences circa 1958. (It actually wasn't that flat, but in forcing Murphy into the role of Sam Martin, he removed the element that most paying theatergoers were expecting to latch onto.) There's also a lot of grit and violence, some of it very sudden and presented in a manner as low-key as it is brutal, which wasn't expected in a major feature of this era. The result was a movie ahead of its time, and sparked by a leading man giving the best (and most under-appreciated) work of his later career.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/18/2011
UPC:
0883904241683
Original Release:
1958
Source:
Mgm Mod
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:23:00
Sales rank:
15,678

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audie Murphy Sam Martin
Eddie Albert Hanagan
Patricia Owens Lucy Martin
Everett Sloane Harvey
Gita Hall Eva
Richard Jaeckel Buzurki
Paul Birch Sy Phillips
Jack Elam Arnold
John Harding Peterson
Peggy Maley Blonde
Carlos Romero Carlos
Edward Colmans Juan
Steven Peck Pepito
Ted Jacques Commander Walsh
John Qualen Pop
Frederico Roberto Berenguer

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Clarence Greene Producer
Joe Lubin Songwriter
Daniel Mainwaring Screenwriter
Hal Mohr Cinematographer
Paul Monash Screenwriter
Howard Richmond Art Director
Chester Schaeffer Editor
Leith Stevens Score Composer

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