The Last of the Fast Guns (1958)

82 mins | Western | July 1958

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Western Story . According to studio press materials, all of The Last of the Fast Guns , except the opening sequence, was filmed in Mexico, and director George Sherman hired a full Mexican crew. Mexican filming locations included Cuernavaca, Tepoztlan, Taxco and the Vilchis Ranch, as well as at the Estudios Churubusco. Although a May 1957 HR news item adds Edwin Gonzales, José Torvay, Rafael Gonzales and Mario Navarro to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Actress Linda Cristal made her American feature film debut in The Last of the Fast Guns . The film was released in Mexico City on 15 Jan 1959 under the title Fugitivo ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Western Story . According to studio press materials, all of The Last of the Fast Guns , except the opening sequence, was filmed in Mexico, and director George Sherman hired a full Mexican crew. Mexican filming locations included Cuernavaca, Tepoztlan, Taxco and the Vilchis Ranch, as well as at the Estudios Churubusco. Although a May 1957 HR news item adds Edwin Gonzales, José Torvay, Rafael Gonzales and Mario Navarro to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Actress Linda Cristal made her American feature film debut in The Last of the Fast Guns . The film was released in Mexico City on 15 Jan 1959 under the title Fugitivo . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jun 1958.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jun 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Jun 58
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 1957
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 1957
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1957
p. 16, 21.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1957
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 1957
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 1958.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Jun 58
p. 889.
Variety
25 Jun 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Stand-by dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
STAND INS
Stand-in
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Outlaw's Code by Evan Evans (New York, 1932).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Western Story
Fugitivo
Release Date:
July 1958
Production Date:
20 June--late July 1957 at Estudios, Churubusco, Mexico City
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
8 June 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12616
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Eastman Color by Pathé
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
82
Countries:
Mexico, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18762
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1880s, gunslinger Brad Ellison is one of the last of his breed. After killing another man in a fair fight, he explains to the town sheriff that he needs to kill his enemies in order to avoid having to live on the run. After Brad is summoned to meet millionaire John Forbes, Forbes explains that thirty years earlier he struck gold with his brother Edward and another partner, but the partner squeezed out the idealistic Edward. Although Edward then disappeared, he sent John a letter from San Vicente, Mexico, five years ago. John, who is now dying and confined to a wheelchair, offers Brad $25,000 to find Edward so that his fortune, upon his death, will not revert to the dishonest partner. Although the only clue John can furnish is a silver dollar to which Edward holds the only twin, Brad accepts the job and leaves for Mexico. There, he arrives at an outlaw hideout run by Samuel Grypton, where he relays to fellow gunslingers Johnny Ringo, James Younger and Ben Thompson that Jesse James and Billy the Kid have recently been killed. Ringo, who like all the other men there realizes his time has ended, states his desire to give up his guns and buy a ranch, and later advises Brad to talk to Michael “King” O’Reilly, the biggest rancher in San Vicente. On the trail the next day, Grypton sends two banditos to ambush Brad, but after he manages to kill one, José Garcia, the other runs off. Brad brings Garcia’s body to San Vicente, where the local lawman offers Brad the reward on Garcia’s head, but Brad refuses it. While traveling on, ... +


In the late 1880s, gunslinger Brad Ellison is one of the last of his breed. After killing another man in a fair fight, he explains to the town sheriff that he needs to kill his enemies in order to avoid having to live on the run. After Brad is summoned to meet millionaire John Forbes, Forbes explains that thirty years earlier he struck gold with his brother Edward and another partner, but the partner squeezed out the idealistic Edward. Although Edward then disappeared, he sent John a letter from San Vicente, Mexico, five years ago. John, who is now dying and confined to a wheelchair, offers Brad $25,000 to find Edward so that his fortune, upon his death, will not revert to the dishonest partner. Although the only clue John can furnish is a silver dollar to which Edward holds the only twin, Brad accepts the job and leaves for Mexico. There, he arrives at an outlaw hideout run by Samuel Grypton, where he relays to fellow gunslingers Johnny Ringo, James Younger and Ben Thompson that Jesse James and Billy the Kid have recently been killed. Ringo, who like all the other men there realizes his time has ended, states his desire to give up his guns and buy a ranch, and later advises Brad to talk to Michael “King” O’Reilly, the biggest rancher in San Vicente. On the trail the next day, Grypton sends two banditos to ambush Brad, but after he manages to kill one, José Garcia, the other runs off. Brad brings Garcia’s body to San Vicente, where the local lawman offers Brad the reward on Garcia’s head, but Brad refuses it. While traveling on, he spots a beautiful young woman swimming in the river and playfully steals her scarf without her seeing him. At King’s ranch, he meets King and his foreman, Spaniard Miles Lang, who inform him that Edward has been dead for ten years. King invites Brad to spend the night and advises him that a man can escape his past in San Vicente, but Brad insists on continuing his quest. Just then, the woman from the river enters, and King introduces her as his daughter Maria. After he leaves, Brad returns Maria’s scarf to her, and realizing he was watching her, she stalks away. Later, as Miles and a ranchhand try to break a wild stallion, the horse corners Miles and when Brad arrives in time to rope the stallion expertly, he saves Miles’s life and earns his friendship. Brad then asks Miles to guide him through the surrounding hills so he can ask the local shepherds about Edward, and Miles agrees. Before they leave, Maria confronts Brad and questions him about his criminal past, and he admits that he needs Forbes’s money to buy a ranch in Oregon. After Brad and Miles set out, they are immediately shot at by locals who loved Edward and want to protect his memory, but Brad refuses to turn back. They stop at Manuel’s cantina, where everyone Brad questions repeats that Edward died years earlier. That night, a man sneaks into Brad and Miles’s room, and when Miles chases him, he is shot. Manuel sends for Padre Jose, a wise older man who tends to Miles’s wound and later offers to lead the men higher into the hills, although he counsels them to give up their fruitless pursuit. They travel together to Padre Jose’s shack, where he lives as an ascetic and tends to the impoverished locals. Over the next few days, Brad fails to gather any new information about Edward, and Padre Jose gently tries to convince him to leave his violent past behind him. One day, Padre Jose and Brad find the shack ransacked and Miles missing. Brad sends Padre Jose to King’s for help and rushes to Grypton’s to round up his friends. There, however, he is ambushed by Grypton and Miles, who has been using Brad to find Edward, a mission he has been on for years. Miles had been hired by Forbes’s partner to ensure that Forbes would never find Edward and leave his fortune to him. After tying Brad’s hands, Miles reveals that Padre Jose is Edward, and that he must kill him. Brad offers to share his $25,000 in return for the padre’s life, and although Miles refuses, he gives him the matching silver dollar he stole from the padre, so Brad will be able to prove Edward’s death and earn his reward. After Miles leaves, however, Grypton steals the coin and posts two guards, Cordoba and his uncle, to watch Brad. As soon as Brad convinces Cordoba that Miles is going to kill Padre Jose, however, the local man, who like all others reveres the padre, frees Brad, who is forced to kill Grypton to get away. Meanwhile, Miles has reached King’s, where he lies that Brad has been killed and that he has promised to find Edward for him. Padre Jose confesses his true identity and, trusting Miles, agrees to return to America with him. King sends Maria with them, but as soon as they have left Brad arrives and convinces him that Miles has been lying to them all along. They hurry after Miles’s wagon, and when he sees them, he shoots Maria in the leg and leaves her on the trail. While Brad and King stop to help her, Miles prepares to shoot Padre Jose, but is stopped by the appearance of dozens of armed local men, lead by Cordoba, who surround him wordlessly. Padre Jose will not allow them to shoot, however, and Miles rides off, with Brad in pursuit. After a long shootout in the hills, Brad ropes Miles’s feet, and the Spaniard falls to his death. Soon after, Brad declines to accompany the padre back to America, and although the former gunslinger sets off alone, he soon doubles back to join up with King and Maria. +

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.