Last Train From Gun Hill (1959)

John Sturges directs Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn and Carolyn Jones in this western where a sheriff goes to bring justice to his wife’s killers, only to find his old friend is one of the culprits’ father.

You can use this as a genre baseline. A particularly typical western, well made and solidly on point. If someone had never seen the tropes and style before then rather than starting them out on a titanium classic you could show them this so they can then see what a step up 3:10 to Yuma or Rio Bravo are, how much more artful John Ford or Sam Peckinpah or Clint Eastwood were in their takes and evolution of the form. As it stands this gets by on rugged star power (racism and injustice are dealt with by a hard punch) and fluid Technicolor production values. Carolyn Jones is the highlight, Morticia Addams as the bad town’s secret good girl.


My Top 10 Kirk Douglas Movies

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