Day of the Evil Gun (1968)

95 mins | Western | 27 March 1968

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HISTORY

The 7 Feb 1967 DV listed the working title as Ballad of the Evil Gun. It was later mentioned in the 6 Jun 1967 LAT as The Evil Gun. On 14 Jun 1967, DV announced the official title as Day of the Evil Gun, scheduled to begin production 1 Aug 1967 in Durango, Mexico. Originally planned as a feature for ABC Television, it was decided to release the film theatrically prior to its broadcast debut.
       According to the 18 Jul 1967 DV, production was delayed for at least a week after heavy rains flooded the Durango location, destroying a $40,000 Western street set. In addition to building a new set, producer Jerry Thorpe was seeking a new desert location, as the original site had since sprouted greenery. As the start of production neared, the 1 Aug 1967 DV noted that lead actor Glenn Ford had arrived on location in Mazatlan, Mexico. Principal photography began 7 Aug 1967, according to an 11 Aug 1967 DV production chart.
       The 18 May 1967 issue stated that actor Earl Holliman had declined a role in the film due to a prior obligation. Other cast members included Mark Richman (26 Jul 1967 DV) ; Lon Chaney, Jr., who replaced R. G. Armstrong after the latter was unable to fulfill his commitment (15 Aug 1967 DV) ; Jose Chavez (22 Aug 1967 DV) ; and Peter Ford, son of Glenn Ford and dancer Eleanor Powell (8 Aug 1967 LAT). Nine ... More Less

The 7 Feb 1967 DV listed the working title as Ballad of the Evil Gun. It was later mentioned in the 6 Jun 1967 LAT as The Evil Gun. On 14 Jun 1967, DV announced the official title as Day of the Evil Gun, scheduled to begin production 1 Aug 1967 in Durango, Mexico. Originally planned as a feature for ABC Television, it was decided to release the film theatrically prior to its broadcast debut.
       According to the 18 Jul 1967 DV, production was delayed for at least a week after heavy rains flooded the Durango location, destroying a $40,000 Western street set. In addition to building a new set, producer Jerry Thorpe was seeking a new desert location, as the original site had since sprouted greenery. As the start of production neared, the 1 Aug 1967 DV noted that lead actor Glenn Ford had arrived on location in Mazatlan, Mexico. Principal photography began 7 Aug 1967, according to an 11 Aug 1967 DV production chart.
       The 18 May 1967 issue stated that actor Earl Holliman had declined a role in the film due to a prior obligation. Other cast members included Mark Richman (26 Jul 1967 DV) ; Lon Chaney, Jr., who replaced R. G. Armstrong after the latter was unable to fulfill his commitment (15 Aug 1967 DV) ; Jose Chavez (22 Aug 1967 DV) ; and Peter Ford, son of Glenn Ford and dancer Eleanor Powell (8 Aug 1967 LAT). Nine days later, DV reported that Peter Ford was forced to withdraw from the project after being diagnosed with typhus.
       On 18 Sep 1967, LAT stated that the company had begun two weeks on location in Torreon, Mexico, while waiting for the flood waters of Durango to subside.
       The 17 Jan 1968 Var listed the film among four Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) releases, each with an average budget of $2 million.
       Day of the Evil Gun opened 27 Mar 1968 in Cincinnati, OH, as indicated by a 3 Apr 1968 Var box-office report. Openings followed in New York City on 24 Apr 1968, and in Los Angeles, CA, on 15 May 1968 to lukewarm critical notices. A 15 May 1968 LAT review stated that MGM was making little effort to promote the film. When questioned about this fact during an interview for the 13 Oct 1968 LAT, Glenn Ford was philosophical, comparing the movie business to gambling.
       According to the 11 Sep 1968 Var, the picture was scheduled for broadcast on ABC Television during the 1968-69 season.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Feb 1967
p. 15
Daily Variety
18 May 1967
p. 2
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1967
p. 1, 4
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1967
p. 5
Daily Variety
26 Jul 1967
p. 10
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1967
p. 2
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1967
p. 8
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1967
p. 10
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1967
p. 4
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1967
p. 4
Los Angeles Times
6 Jun 1967
Section C, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1967
Section D, p. 12
Los Angeles Times
18 Sep 1967
Section D, p. 27
Los Angeles Times
13 Apr 1968
Section C, p. 23
Los Angeles Times
15 May 1968
Section D, p. 16
Los Angeles Times
17 May 1968
Section D, p. 14
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1968
Section C, p. 18
New York Times
24 Apr 1968
p. 52
New York Times
25 Apr 1968
p. 53
Variety
17 Jan 1968
p. 26
Variety
6 Mar 1968
p. 26
Variety
3 Apr 1968
p. 15
Variety
11 Sep 1968
p. 42
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Evil Gun
Ballad of the Evil Gun
Release Date:
27 March 1968
Premiere Information:
Cincinnati opening: 27 March 1968
New York opening: 24 April 1968
Los Angeles opening: 15 May 1968
Production Date:
began 7 August 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 February 1968
Copyright Number:
LP35456
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Three years after leaving home, gunfighter Lorn Warfield returns to find his ranch in ruin and to hear from a neighbor, Owen Forbes, that his wife, Angie, and two daughters have been taken by the Apaches. The minister's wife, Lydia Yearby, was also captured but was mysteriously returned. Lydia provides Lorn with little information about his family, but he learns more from Jimmy Noble, an old trader who feigns insanity as protection against the Indians. Accompanied by Forbes, who reveals that Angie has consented to marry him because she believes Lorn to be dead, Lorn sets out in search of his family. Lorn and Forbes are captured by Indians but are saved by DeLeón, a Mexican bandit. Continuing their search, they reach a town being held by a band of Confederate renegades led by Capt. Jefferson Addis. The town is attacked by Indians, who leave with two wagons loaded with munitions. Lorn and Forbes follow the wagon tracks to the Indian camp and rescue Angie and the two children. Once safely home, Angie chooses to remain with her husband, whereupon Forbes challenges Lorn to a duel; but Lorn, who has exchanged his gun for food and clothing for his family, refuses to fight. Nevertheless, Forbes wounds Lorn and is about to shoot again when he is himself shot by the storekeeper, using Lorn's traded ... +


Three years after leaving home, gunfighter Lorn Warfield returns to find his ranch in ruin and to hear from a neighbor, Owen Forbes, that his wife, Angie, and two daughters have been taken by the Apaches. The minister's wife, Lydia Yearby, was also captured but was mysteriously returned. Lydia provides Lorn with little information about his family, but he learns more from Jimmy Noble, an old trader who feigns insanity as protection against the Indians. Accompanied by Forbes, who reveals that Angie has consented to marry him because she believes Lorn to be dead, Lorn sets out in search of his family. Lorn and Forbes are captured by Indians but are saved by DeLeón, a Mexican bandit. Continuing their search, they reach a town being held by a band of Confederate renegades led by Capt. Jefferson Addis. The town is attacked by Indians, who leave with two wagons loaded with munitions. Lorn and Forbes follow the wagon tracks to the Indian camp and rescue Angie and the two children. Once safely home, Angie chooses to remain with her husband, whereupon Forbes challenges Lorn to a duel; but Lorn, who has exchanged his gun for food and clothing for his family, refuses to fight. Nevertheless, Forbes wounds Lorn and is about to shoot again when he is himself shot by the storekeeper, using Lorn's traded gun. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.