The Last Challenge (1967)

96 mins | Western | September 1967

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HISTORY

A 17 Apr 1966 NYT news item announced that John Sherry and Robert Emmett Ginna had written a screen adaptation of Sherry’s 1966 novel, Pistolero’s Progress, and that the project was not yet attached to a distributor. Months later, the 30 Sep 1966 DV indicated that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) would produce, with Glenn Ford in the starring role. According to a 3 Oct 1966 LAT brief, the film, then titled Pistolero, was set to be Ford’s twentieth starring vehicle for MGM.
       Principal photography began in Arizona on 17 Oct 1966, as noted in a 21 Oct 1966 DV production chart. Arizona locales included Tucson and Palmdale. By 28 Oct 1966, filming had moved to the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA, according to a DV item published that day. Soon after, the 2 Nov 1966 DV indicated that location shooting was taking place in Alpine Butte, CA, sixty miles north of Hollywood.
       Robert Emhardt, Roberto Contreras, Tony Fraser, and Len Lesser were named as cast members in various DV items published Oct--Nov 1966. ... More Less

A 17 Apr 1966 NYT news item announced that John Sherry and Robert Emmett Ginna had written a screen adaptation of Sherry’s 1966 novel, Pistolero’s Progress, and that the project was not yet attached to a distributor. Months later, the 30 Sep 1966 DV indicated that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) would produce, with Glenn Ford in the starring role. According to a 3 Oct 1966 LAT brief, the film, then titled Pistolero, was set to be Ford’s twentieth starring vehicle for MGM.
       Principal photography began in Arizona on 17 Oct 1966, as noted in a 21 Oct 1966 DV production chart. Arizona locales included Tucson and Palmdale. By 28 Oct 1966, filming had moved to the MGM studio lot in Culver City, CA, according to a DV item published that day. Soon after, the 2 Nov 1966 DV indicated that location shooting was taking place in Alpine Butte, CA, sixty miles north of Hollywood.
       Robert Emhardt, Roberto Contreras, Tony Fraser, and Len Lesser were named as cast members in various DV items published Oct--Nov 1966. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
5 Oct 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1966
p. 14.
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
21 Oct 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1966
p. 1.
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1966
p. 8.
Daily Variety
2 Nov 1966
p. 4.
Daily Variety
15 Nov 1966
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
3 Oct 1966
Section C, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1967
Section D, p. 16.
New York Times
17 Apr 1966
p. 9, 15.
New York Times
28 Dec 1967.
---
Variety
4 Oct 1967
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Pistolero's Progress by John Sherry (New York, 1966).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Pistolero
Release Date:
September 1967
Premiere Information:
Atlanta opening: 29 September 1967
Los Angeles opening: 15 November 1967
New York opening: 27 December 1967
Production Date:
17 October--November 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 March 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34170
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
96
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1877, young Lot McGuire rides toward the Southwestern town of Suwora, intending to kill Marshal Dan Blaine and thereby prove himself the fastest draw in the territory. By chance, he meets and becomes friendly with his intended victim at a fishing spot outside of town but makes his intentions clear to the marshal. Blaine, a former gunfighter pacified by ten years in prison, sees in McGuire the kind of youngster he himself once was and tries unsuccessfully to make him forget his so-called "mission." After McGuire proves his ability by outdrawing card cheat Squint Calloway, Blaine's dancehall hostess girl friend, Lisa Denton, hires gunman Ernest Scarnes to kill him. McGuire mortally wounds his would-be assassin, however, and confronts Lisa with knowledge of her treachery, although he promises not to divulge it after learning that she was only trying to protect Blaine. As the showdown nears, the desperate Lisa takes a revolver and stalks McGuire herself, but before she can shoot, Blaine stops her; aware now that a duel is inevitable, the marshal outdraws his challenger, tosses away his gun, and sadly leaves town ... +


In 1877, young Lot McGuire rides toward the Southwestern town of Suwora, intending to kill Marshal Dan Blaine and thereby prove himself the fastest draw in the territory. By chance, he meets and becomes friendly with his intended victim at a fishing spot outside of town but makes his intentions clear to the marshal. Blaine, a former gunfighter pacified by ten years in prison, sees in McGuire the kind of youngster he himself once was and tries unsuccessfully to make him forget his so-called "mission." After McGuire proves his ability by outdrawing card cheat Squint Calloway, Blaine's dancehall hostess girl friend, Lisa Denton, hires gunman Ernest Scarnes to kill him. McGuire mortally wounds his would-be assassin, however, and confronts Lisa with knowledge of her treachery, although he promises not to divulge it after learning that she was only trying to protect Blaine. As the showdown nears, the desperate Lisa takes a revolver and stalks McGuire herself, but before she can shoot, Blaine stops her; aware now that a duel is inevitable, the marshal outdraws his challenger, tosses away his gun, and sadly leaves town alone. +

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.