Plot: Clint Cooper (Audie Murphy) has returned to his hometown after years of absence, as he was involved in a lethal gunfight and despite his insistence of self defense, he was more or less run out of town. He has come back to work the ranch his late father left him and he would like to settle down, even raise a family in his new life. As soon as he is back, he runs into an old friend Spangler (Ted de Corsia) who is up to no good and plots to rob the local bank. Spangler assumes that Clint has similar ideas, since it is an ideal time to strike since there’s a cattle drive. But Clint clashes with former friend and saves the town from the heist, though even then, his presence is mostly unwanted and he struggles to prove himself. Will he find the peace, quiet, and future he wants so badly, or will his past keep him from that life he dreams of?
Entertainment Value: The Quick Gun isn’t all that original or memorable, but it is a rock solid western that hits the expected beats and keeps your attention throughout, so it does have a lot to offer genre fans. The narrative is a familiar one, but the cast is good and the action is solid, so the movie doesn’t too much like a retread and it tells the story well, which helps a lot. So yes, if you’ve watched a good amount of westerns, then you’ve likely seen similar tales told, but The Quick Gun is more than capable on the whole. I think Clint is a well developed character, though some of the backstory is a little odd and his basic arc is one that is always reliable, overcome the past to build a better future. The production values are decent and while the movie is a smaller scale one, it makes a good effort, considering the lower budget involved. The shootouts are fun to watch, though not as intricate or grand in scale as some, so I think western fans could find some solid entertainment with The Quick Gun.
I like the cast in this one, as there are some dependable performances and a fun villain, which is always a plus. I think the movie has some clear b movie elements and while it doesn’t get wacky in general, there is some dialed up melodrama and over the top efforts, which to me, add to the entertainment value here. Audie Murphy is a good lead and while perhaps not the most flashy or dynamic presence, he is more than competent and anchors the movie well. I think he is often able to make even the lower tier westerns he made watchable, so with decent material like The Quick Gun, he is able to elevate it a little even past that. But I think Ted de Corsia steals the show here, in an over the top performance as the film’s villain. A good guy staple like Murphy needs a capable foil and de Corsia rises to the challenge, in a fun, tuned up effort that gives us the kind of bad guy you can root against. The cast also includes Merry Anders, Gregg Palmer, Rex Holman, and James Best.
The Disc: I love Umbrella Entertainment’s Six Shooter Classic series and The Quick Gun looks more than solid in this DVD presentation. The print is in good condition, while the image overall looks clean and clear. As far as DVD treatments go, The Quick Gun has been done justice in this release.