Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)

92 mins | Western | October 1964

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HISTORY

According to a 9 Sep 1962 NYT article, Stanley Kramer began developing Invitation to a Gunfighter in 1957, when he acquired the rights to Hal Goodman and Larry Klein’s television stage play of the same name. Nearly three years later, the 6 Jan 1960 Var named the film as a property of United Artists (UA). An 11 Oct 1961 DV news story noted that Hubert Cornfield, who had a two-picture deal with Kramer at the studio, and was rumored to direct and revise a screenplay by James Lee Barrett. However, Cornfield’s name did not appear in any further contemporary sources, and Kramer told the 9 Sep 1962 NYT that the script was being rewritten. An 11 Apr 1963 DV brief revealed that Richard Wilson was set to produce and direct while sharing writing credit with his wife, Elizabeth Wilson. According to the 29 May 1963 DV, Kramer objected to the studio’s suggestion that the title be changed to Invitation to a Hanging.
       Items in the 10 Jul and 10 Aug 1963 LAT indicated that Rod Steiger and Susan Oliver were considered for roles, while the 11 Sep 1963 DV named Howard Wierum among the cast. Wierum is not credited onscreen.
       Principal photography began 10 Sep 1963, as reported by an 11 Oct 1963 DV production chart. Filming took place on location in Lancaster, CA, and on the Universal studio backlot in Los Angeles, CA. The 4 Nov 1963 DV stated that production had been completed three days earlier. ... More Less

According to a 9 Sep 1962 NYT article, Stanley Kramer began developing Invitation to a Gunfighter in 1957, when he acquired the rights to Hal Goodman and Larry Klein’s television stage play of the same name. Nearly three years later, the 6 Jan 1960 Var named the film as a property of United Artists (UA). An 11 Oct 1961 DV news story noted that Hubert Cornfield, who had a two-picture deal with Kramer at the studio, and was rumored to direct and revise a screenplay by James Lee Barrett. However, Cornfield’s name did not appear in any further contemporary sources, and Kramer told the 9 Sep 1962 NYT that the script was being rewritten. An 11 Apr 1963 DV brief revealed that Richard Wilson was set to produce and direct while sharing writing credit with his wife, Elizabeth Wilson. According to the 29 May 1963 DV, Kramer objected to the studio’s suggestion that the title be changed to Invitation to a Hanging.
       Items in the 10 Jul and 10 Aug 1963 LAT indicated that Rod Steiger and Susan Oliver were considered for roles, while the 11 Sep 1963 DV named Howard Wierum among the cast. Wierum is not credited onscreen.
       Principal photography began 10 Sep 1963, as reported by an 11 Oct 1963 DV production chart. Filming took place on location in Lancaster, CA, and on the Universal studio backlot in Los Angeles, CA. The 4 Nov 1963 DV stated that production had been completed three days earlier. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Oct 1961
p. 11.
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 May 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Oct 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 1963
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1963
Section D, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
10 Aug 1963
Section H, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1964
Section W, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
24 Oct 1964
p. 18.
New York Times
9 Sep 1962
p. 137.
New York Times
28 Oct 1964
p. 51.
Variety
6 Jan 1960
p. 39.
Variety
21 Oct 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Stanley Kramer Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr--screen story
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Invitation to a Gunfighter," words by Mack David, music by David Raksin.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1964
Premiere Information:
Baltimore opening: 14 October 1964
Los Angeles opening: 21 October 1964
New York opening: 27 October 1964
Production Date:
10 September--1 November 1963
Copyright Claimant:
Kramer Co.
Copyright Date:
15 October 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29367
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Returning to Pecos, New Mexico, at the end of the Civil War, Confederate veteran Matt Weaver discovers his property appropriated and sold by banker Brewster; his former fiancée, Ruth, married to a one-armed Union soldier; and his neighbors, Yankee sympathizers, aligned against him. After Weaver shoots in self defense the new owner of his farm, Brewster hires the notorious Jules Gaspard d'Estaing to eliminate him. The gunman, an enigmatic educated mulatto, proves uncontrollable, and Brewster attempts to hire Weaver to slay d'Estaing. In the ensuing confrontation, the gunman provokes Weaver, who then slays both d'Estaing and ... +


Returning to Pecos, New Mexico, at the end of the Civil War, Confederate veteran Matt Weaver discovers his property appropriated and sold by banker Brewster; his former fiancée, Ruth, married to a one-armed Union soldier; and his neighbors, Yankee sympathizers, aligned against him. After Weaver shoots in self defense the new owner of his farm, Brewster hires the notorious Jules Gaspard d'Estaing to eliminate him. The gunman, an enigmatic educated mulatto, proves uncontrollable, and Brewster attempts to hire Weaver to slay d'Estaing. In the ensuing confrontation, the gunman provokes Weaver, who then slays both d'Estaing and Brewster. +

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.