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Hour of the Gun (1967)

Hour of the Gun

Director:John Sturges
Cast:Jason Robards, James Garner, Robert Ryan
Genre:Film, Western

By Jack Purdy | Posted

Ten years after directing Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas as, respectively, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, John Sturges returned to Tombstone, focusing on the aftermath of the most famous lead-slinging bout in American history in the revisionist Hour of the Gun. In contrast to the previous film's leading-man casting, Gun offered the less traditional but more interesting choices of Jason Robards, perhaps too old but otherwise much more believable as Holliday, and James Garner. Garner, who up to this point in his career had generally coasted on affability, was a revelation as Earp, out for revenge against the men who murdered his brother Morgan after the O.K Corral battle. As Earp hunts them down one by one (as the real-life Wyatt did, in the so-called "Vendetta Ride"), he becomes increasingly bitter and disillusioned, finding that the killing doesn't bring relief. The strong supporting cast includes Robert Ryan (as the head of the Clanton clan), William Windom, and a young Jon Voight. This story had been told on screen several times before--most famously by John Ford with My Darling Clementine--but Sturges was the first filmmaker to even come close to the truth.

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