Gunslinger (1956)

77 or 83 mins | Western | 15 June 1956

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HISTORY

The film's working title was The Yellow Rose of Texas . A title card reading "Oracle, Texas Friday, May 21, 1878" opens the film, followed by the brief sequence in which "Marshal Scott Hood" is killed and his wife "Rose" grabs a rifle and shoots at the assailants. The opening credits then appear, followed by a title card reading "Saturday, May 22" before the main story begins. At several points within the story, additional title cards indicate the day of the week and date.
       Reviews indicate that the name of the character played by Jonathan Haze is "Jack Hays" but he is called "Jake Hays" within the film. According to HR news items, Susan Cummings was to play a major role in the film, and Paul Birch was also cast, but neither were in the released film. Much of the film was shot on location at Jack Ingram's Ranch in Woodland Hills, CA. Although Gunslinger was not the first of Roger Corman's independently produced films, it was the first film produced under the Roger Corman Productions company ... More Less

The film's working title was The Yellow Rose of Texas . A title card reading "Oracle, Texas Friday, May 21, 1878" opens the film, followed by the brief sequence in which "Marshal Scott Hood" is killed and his wife "Rose" grabs a rifle and shoots at the assailants. The opening credits then appear, followed by a title card reading "Saturday, May 22" before the main story begins. At several points within the story, additional title cards indicate the day of the week and date.
       Reviews indicate that the name of the character played by Jonathan Haze is "Jack Hays" but he is called "Jake Hays" within the film. According to HR news items, Susan Cummings was to play a major role in the film, and Paul Birch was also cast, but neither were in the released film. Much of the film was shot on location at Jack Ingram's Ranch in Woodland Hills, CA. Although Gunslinger was not the first of Roger Corman's independently produced films, it was the first film produced under the Roger Corman Productions company name. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Aug 1956.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1956
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 1956
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1956
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Aug 1956
p. 26.
Variety
1 Aug 1956
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Yellow Rose of Texas
Release Date:
15 June 1956
Production Date:
23 January--2 February 1956
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Pathécolor
Duration(in mins):
77 or 83
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17970
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Oracle, Texas, in 1878, Marshal Scott Hood is killed when he is shot through the window of his office while talking with his wife Rose. She immediately takes Scott's rifle and kills one of the two assailants, but the other escapes. The next day, at the conclusion of her husband’s funeral, Rose grabs a gun from Deputy Joshua Tate and shoots the second assailant, who is standing near the grave. Telling Mayor Gideon Polk that she still needs to find the person who hired the killers, Rose asks to be appointed marshal until lawman Sam Bass arrives to take Scott’s place. With the prodding of his wife Felicity, as well as Joshua, Polk names Rose temporary marshal. That night, Rose, now wearing men’s trousers and a gun, demands that Red Dog Saloon owner Erica Page shut down for the night, in accordance with town regulations. The women fight, after which Erica closes the saloon. After Rose leaves, Erica sends her devoted lackey, Jake Hays, to Tombstone to hire a killer. A week after Scott’s murder, Polk visits Erica out of concern that she has overextended herself by buying up a lot of town property. Erica explains that she has been buying property along a proposed railroad line to be routed through Oracle. After Polk leaves, Jake tells Erica that he has hired Cane Miro, who is on his way to town. Meanwhile, as Cane rides toward Oracle, Rose takes a shot at him, but soon realizing that he is not Nate Signo, a man she has been looking for, apologizes. Cane is impressed by Rose and rides ... +


In Oracle, Texas, in 1878, Marshal Scott Hood is killed when he is shot through the window of his office while talking with his wife Rose. She immediately takes Scott's rifle and kills one of the two assailants, but the other escapes. The next day, at the conclusion of her husband’s funeral, Rose grabs a gun from Deputy Joshua Tate and shoots the second assailant, who is standing near the grave. Telling Mayor Gideon Polk that she still needs to find the person who hired the killers, Rose asks to be appointed marshal until lawman Sam Bass arrives to take Scott’s place. With the prodding of his wife Felicity, as well as Joshua, Polk names Rose temporary marshal. That night, Rose, now wearing men’s trousers and a gun, demands that Red Dog Saloon owner Erica Page shut down for the night, in accordance with town regulations. The women fight, after which Erica closes the saloon. After Rose leaves, Erica sends her devoted lackey, Jake Hays, to Tombstone to hire a killer. A week after Scott’s murder, Polk visits Erica out of concern that she has overextended herself by buying up a lot of town property. Erica explains that she has been buying property along a proposed railroad line to be routed through Oracle. After Polk leaves, Jake tells Erica that he has hired Cane Miro, who is on his way to town. Meanwhile, as Cane rides toward Oracle, Rose takes a shot at him, but soon realizing that he is not Nate Signo, a man she has been looking for, apologizes. Cane is impressed by Rose and rides with her to a campfire next to a deserted shack he saw on the trail. While waiting for Signo, Cane tells Rose that he is going to Oracle to see Polk, who was a captain in the Confederate Army. When Signo returns, Rose arrests him, but when her back is turned, Cane shoots Signo as he reaches for his gun. That night, Cane goes to the Red Dog and confronts Polk until Erica tells him to stop. When Erica and Cane are alone, they begin to rekindle an old romance. She then reveals that the person he is being paid $3,000 to kill is Rose, adding that, if the railroad comes through town, she may not have to die. The next day, Cane goes to Rose’s office and learns that she has seen his name on wanted posters from three states. Because he is not wanted in Texas, she lets him go but warns that his business with Polk must be legal. A few days later, Erica buys the local freight line from Zebelon Taub for $15,000 cash. Meanwhile, Rose follows Cane as he rides out of town. When she sees him stopped at a stream and realizes that he has waited for her to catch up, they laugh, then talk about his past and start to kiss. Not far away, Taub, who is leaving town, is shot and killed by Jake. Rose and Cane hear the shots and rush toward the site, but arrive after Jake has taken Taub’s money and ridden away. Back at the Red Dog, Jake tells Erica about seeing Rose and Cane, and Erica becomes jealous. When Cane returns, Erica goes to his room and demands that he kill Rose immediately, but he reminds her that, once the deal was made, they agreed not to make changes. Because a worried Felicity has asked Rose to check on Polk, who has been hiding at their cabin, Rose questions Cane about his relationship to the mayor. Cane reveals that Polk had been his commander at a battle that could have been a critical Confederate victory but that Polk “turned coward” and ran, disheartening his men, who were decimated. After telling Cane that one low-ranking officer cannot be held responsible for the Confederacy’s loss, she makes him promise not to harm Polk. The next day, Rose rides out to see Polk, unaware that Cane is following her. Returning to town, Rose sees Cane, who says that if he wanted to kill Polk, he would be dead already, then asks her to meet him the following night at an old tree outside town. The next day, a Thursday, Rose and Joshua bring Polk back to Oracle and place him into protective custody. Later, Rose goes to the Red Dog to tell Erica to make sure that the three dance hall girls who had been ordered to leave town by Friday will go. After Rose departs, one of the girls, Tessie-Belle, tells Erica that she is so angry she could kill Rose. When Rose meets Cane outside town, the pair kisses, and Cane tells Rose he loves her. Rose returns the kisses but confesses to Cane that she cannot trust him because they are sworn enemies. Just after Rose leaves, Tessie and the two other dance hall girls confront her, drag her off her horse and tie a noose around her neck. They are stopped by Cane, who draws his gun. Rose orders the three women off, after which Cane angrily confronts Erica about “the floozies.” On Friday night, Cane gets drunk in his room, and when Rose comes to say goodbye, he bitterly orders her to leave. Later Erica goes to his room, and Jake, who is spying on her, sees them kissing, but leaves before Cane pushes Erica away. Humiliated at his rebuff, Erica orders Cane to kill Rose no matter what happens with the railroad and demands that he accompany her to meet the Pony Express rider delivering the letter relaying the railroad's decision early the next morning. When she returns to the Red Dog, Erica is slapped by Jake, who calls her a liar. After she threatens him and orders him out, Jake goes to Rose’s office to tell her and Joshua everything about Erica, Cane and Taub’s murder. Rose cannot arrest anyone, however, because Jake’s testimony would not hold up at a trial. Later, Jake draws a gun on Cane at the saloon and Cane kills him. Although Rose is skeptical when Erica says the killing was self-defense, she does not arrest Cane. The next morning, Erica and Cane meet the arriving Pony Express rider outside town, and Erica demands that he give her the railroad letter. He does, but as he rides away, Erica shoots him in the back, shocking Cane. When Erica reads the letter and learns that the railroad will not be coming through Oracle, she and Cane ride back toward town. Concerned that the Pony Express rider is late, Rose leaves Joshua and the Polks and rides out onto the trail to see what has happened. After she leaves, Erica and Cane ride into town. Joshua is shot when he confronts them, then Cane goes after Polk. Felicity shields her husband but is killed when Cane shoots at him. Polk then takes a pitchfork and lunges at Cane, but Cane kills him. When Rose rides into town, Erica takes aim at her, but Cane kills Erica before she can shoot Rose. After one of the townsmen tells Rose that Cane killed both Felicity and Polk, she rides after him and finds him at the old tree. As they shoot at each other, Rose says she knows he is trying to miss but it will not do him any good. After he is wounded, they stop shooting and Cane asks her if “it’s a two-way thing.” Although she replies “yes,” they resume shooting until Rose has a clear shot and fatally wounds Cane. Returning to town with Cane’s body, Rose decides to leave Oracle forever. A she rides out, a man rides by who introduces himself as Sam Bass and comments that Oracle looks like a quiet little town. +

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

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