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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Hired Guns . In the opening credits, below the title, the card reads: "A Gannaway-Ver Halen Production," followed by the names of the four lead actors. The fourth name listed reads: "and introducing America's Number One Western Recording Star/Faron Young," who made his film debut in Hidden Guns . The rest of the cast, listed as the "cast of characters," and all credited crew members appear at the end of the film.
       Portions of the film were shot at the Ray Corrigan Ranch in Simi Valley, CA. Two songs, performed intermittently throughout the film's soundtrack by Young and a choir, provide a Greek chorus-like commentary. During the film, the character "Snipe Harding," portrayed by John Carradine, sings snippets of several songs, among them, "Loch ... More Less

The working title of the film was Hired Guns . In the opening credits, below the title, the card reads: "A Gannaway-Ver Halen Production," followed by the names of the four lead actors. The fourth name listed reads: "and introducing America's Number One Western Recording Star/Faron Young," who made his film debut in Hidden Guns . The rest of the cast, listed as the "cast of characters," and all credited crew members appear at the end of the film.
       Portions of the film were shot at the Ray Corrigan Ranch in Simi Valley, CA. Two songs, performed intermittently throughout the film's soundtrack by Young and a choir, provide a Greek chorus-like commentary. During the film, the character "Snipe Harding," portrayed by John Carradine, sings snippets of several songs, among them, "Loch Lomond."


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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Mar 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Mar 56
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1955
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Mar 56
p. 809.
Variety
7 Mar 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Gannaway-Ver Halen Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story and scr
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir, comp and played by
Choral dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Sheriff" and "Vice Versa," music by Al Gannaway, lyrics by Hal Levy.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Hired Guns
Release Date:
29 January 1956
Production Date:
15 June--30 June 1955 at Kling Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 December 1955
Copyright Number:
LP6405
Physical Properties:
Sound
Glen Glenn Sound Recording System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17644
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the 1800s, in the town of Youngstown, Stragg, owner of the Silver Dollar Saloon, has surrounded himself with hired thugs and paid-off politicians, among them, the alcoholic Judge Wallis and hotel owner Kingsly. With the support of his cronies, he has cheated people out of their money and land at his gambling tables. Anyone who has stood up against him, he has had killed and then claimed he shot in self-defense. Although the sheriff, Ward Young, has tried to bring Stragg to justice, the weak-willed townspeople are too intimidated by Stragg to testify against him in court and many families have abandoned their homes to start a new life elsewhere, away from Stragg's corruption. When Ward investigates the shooting death of Joe Miller, a young farmer who never carried a gun yet was supposedly killed in a shootout at the saloon, all those who witnessed the incident testify that the killing was a fair fight. Soon after, Stragg informs Ward that he and the town council have changed the town’s charter, making the sheriff an appointee of the committee rather than an elected official. Having only forty-eight hours left as sheriff, before the new charter takes effect, Ward vows to find proof against Stragg that will stand up in court. However, he discovers he cannot count on the support of his son and deputy Faron, who resigns, having lost faith in the townspeople he has tried to protect. Ward tracks down Joe’s brother Burt, who witnessed the murder and was forced to flee for his life to a nearby town. Stragg’s thugs suggest that they kill Ward, but Stragg realizes the beloved ... +


In the 1800s, in the town of Youngstown, Stragg, owner of the Silver Dollar Saloon, has surrounded himself with hired thugs and paid-off politicians, among them, the alcoholic Judge Wallis and hotel owner Kingsly. With the support of his cronies, he has cheated people out of their money and land at his gambling tables. Anyone who has stood up against him, he has had killed and then claimed he shot in self-defense. Although the sheriff, Ward Young, has tried to bring Stragg to justice, the weak-willed townspeople are too intimidated by Stragg to testify against him in court and many families have abandoned their homes to start a new life elsewhere, away from Stragg's corruption. When Ward investigates the shooting death of Joe Miller, a young farmer who never carried a gun yet was supposedly killed in a shootout at the saloon, all those who witnessed the incident testify that the killing was a fair fight. Soon after, Stragg informs Ward that he and the town council have changed the town’s charter, making the sheriff an appointee of the committee rather than an elected official. Having only forty-eight hours left as sheriff, before the new charter takes effect, Ward vows to find proof against Stragg that will stand up in court. However, he discovers he cannot count on the support of his son and deputy Faron, who resigns, having lost faith in the townspeople he has tried to protect. Ward tracks down Joe’s brother Burt, who witnessed the murder and was forced to flee for his life to a nearby town. Stragg’s thugs suggest that they kill Ward, but Stragg realizes the beloved sheriff’s death might cause a backlash that will unite the townspeople against him. Instead he sends his men to fetch gunman Snipe Harding from Portersville to kill Burt. Although initially offered $500 for the job, Snipe negotiates for $800 with Stragg’s hireling Grundy. Then, seeing Ward, Burt and Becky Carter, who is the daughter of the area’s physician, boarding a stagecoach for Youngstown, he joins them. Stragg’s men follow the coach, expecting Snipe to signal them to create a disturbance during which he can kill Burt. However, Snipe, who is pretending to befriend his fellow passengers, never signals. When the coach stops at a relay station, Snipe, who has recognized Ward as the best shot in the territory, tells the men that he expects more money for his deed. In Youngstown, Snipe, who heard Ward discuss his plans to send for Circuit Judge Parker, promises the sheriff to keep secret all he has learned on the trip. He then meets with Stragg, who wants to call off the deal because Snipe failed to kill Burt during the journey. Snipe, however, convinces him to pay $1,000 to silence Burt by saying that “Hanging Judge” Parker has shot defendants dead from the bench and that “no one stops a Parker jury.” Snipe then sets up a trap in which one of Stragg’s men, pretending to be an out-of-town hired killer, diverts Ward, leaving Burt unprotected. Although Snipe kills Burt, Ward is merely knocked out. Afterward, Stragg is unhappy that Ward was not killed, but Snipe explains that shooting the sheriff, who can outdraw anyone in the territory, would raise suspicion in the community. Snipe then proposes that Stragg challenge Ward to a gunfight, and while the sheriff is focused on Stragg, Snipe will hide inside the hotel and shoot him. After regaining consciousness, Ward tries to arrest Stragg, against the advice of his good friend, Doc Carter, who thinks he is still suffering from the blow to his head. As previously planned with Snipe, Stragg refuses to go with Ward, claiming that the sheriff holds a grudge for the loss of his job, and challenges him to a shootout. As Stragg draws, Snipe shoots from behind a knothole in the hotel, severely wounding Ward, and then comes out to help the doctor load Ward into a wagon. Although it seems impossible that the marksman Ward could be outdrawn by the less-skilled Stragg, the sorrowful townspeople, including Doc, are forced to conclude that Stragg shot Ward in a fair fight. Wallis, however, has sobered up and is ashamed for having been part of Stragg’s corruption. After taking Ward to his home out of town, Doc, who is unsure of Ward’s prognosis, tends Ward’s wounds. Upon examining the bullets removed from Ward’s body, Faron realizes that the bullets came from a rifle, indicating that Stragg did not do the shooting. He rides toward Youngstown to confront Stragg, but on the way is ambushed by the outlaw’s hired men. When one of his accomplices shoots at Faron and misses, Grundy kills his colleague, and then engages Faron in a fistfight. The struggle culminates in a nearby lake, where Grundy drowns. In town, Faron engages two townsmen to watch for a sniper as Faron confronts his enemy. As previously planned with Snipe, Stragg goes out to meet Faron, while Snipe aims through a knothole. When Faron moves sideways to elude Snipe’s bullet, Faron’s friends are able to ascertain Snipe’s location. Faron then fires several shots in the direction of the knothole and kills Snipe. Meanwhile, Stragg tries to escape, but the townspeople block his path and he is escorted to jail.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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