Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)

G | 92 mins | Comedy, Western | 26 March 1969

Director:

Burt Kennedy

Writer:

William Bowers

Producer:

William Bowers

Cinematographer:

Harry Stradling, Jr.

Production Designer:

Leroy Coleman

Production Company:

Cherokee Productions
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HISTORY

Support Your Local Sheriff! marked screenwriter William Bowers’s sole feature film producing credit. According to a 22 May 1968 Var item, Bowers brought an unfinished draft of the script to James Garner. Garner liked the project, and suggested they make it with United Artists (UA), with whom he had a deal at the time. The project was announced in the 1 Nov 1967 Var, which referred to the picture by its working title, The Sheriff. Although William Bowers had hoped to direct, Burt Kennedy was hired, as announced in the 26 Jan 1968 DV. The 13 Feb 1968 DV described Support Your Local Sheriff! as the “first fully independent venture” to be made by James Garner’s company, Cherokee Productions. Principal photography was slated to begin in mid-Mar 1968 on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio lot in Culver City, CA. While an item in the 19 Mar 1968 DV claimed that filming began that day, a 5 Apr 1968 DV production chart listed 18 Mar 1968 as the start date. The shoot was scheduled to end on 30 Apr 1968, as reported in the 3 Apr 1968 DV.
       Petula Clark was said to have “squelched a chance” at appearing in the film in a 7 Apr 1969 LAT article. Items in DV and LAT published between 22 Mar 1968 and 24 Apr 1968 listed the following actors and actresses as cast members: Peggy Ann Nielsen; Robert Anderson; Edwin Cook; Peggy Lloyd Patten; Bob Terhune; Gary Combs; Jack Lilley; Richard Lilley; radio deejay Dick Haynes; ... More Less

Support Your Local Sheriff! marked screenwriter William Bowers’s sole feature film producing credit. According to a 22 May 1968 Var item, Bowers brought an unfinished draft of the script to James Garner. Garner liked the project, and suggested they make it with United Artists (UA), with whom he had a deal at the time. The project was announced in the 1 Nov 1967 Var, which referred to the picture by its working title, The Sheriff. Although William Bowers had hoped to direct, Burt Kennedy was hired, as announced in the 26 Jan 1968 DV. The 13 Feb 1968 DV described Support Your Local Sheriff! as the “first fully independent venture” to be made by James Garner’s company, Cherokee Productions. Principal photography was slated to begin in mid-Mar 1968 on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio lot in Culver City, CA. While an item in the 19 Mar 1968 DV claimed that filming began that day, a 5 Apr 1968 DV production chart listed 18 Mar 1968 as the start date. The shoot was scheduled to end on 30 Apr 1968, as reported in the 3 Apr 1968 DV.
       Petula Clark was said to have “squelched a chance” at appearing in the film in a 7 Apr 1969 LAT article. Items in DV and LAT published between 22 Mar 1968 and 24 Apr 1968 listed the following actors and actresses as cast members: Peggy Ann Nielsen; Robert Anderson; Edwin Cook; Peggy Lloyd Patten; Bob Terhune; Gary Combs; Jack Lilley; Richard Lilley; radio deejay Dick Haynes; Paul Sorenson; David Farrow; William Tannen; Fred Coby; and Wayne Heffley.
       The film cost an estimated $1.75 million, according to a 22 May 1968 Var brief. Within three months of release, the 2 Jul 1969 Var listed a box-office gross of $1,951,611, to date. Despite mixed reviews, the National Board of Review named Support Your Local Sheriff! as one of the top ten movies of 1969, and a sequel, also starring and executive produced by James Garner, was released in 1971 under the title Support Your Local Gunfighter (see entry).
       A paperback novelization written by Phil Ketchum was scheduled to be published by Popular Library around the same time as the film’s release, according to a 2 Apr 1969 Var brief. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Jan 1968
p. 39.
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Feb 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1968
p. 10.
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1968
p. 28.
Daily Variety
22 Mar 1968
p. 12.
Daily Variety
26 Mar 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Apr 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
5 Apr 1968
p. 10.
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
23 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Jul 1969
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
19 Apr 1968
Section D, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
2 Apr 1969
Section H, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
7 Apr 1969
Section G, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
9 Apr 1969
p. 55.
Los Angeles Times
3 Jan 1970
Section A, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jun 1970
Section H, p. 15.
New York Times
2 Jan 1970
p. 34.
Variety
1 Nov 1967
p. 18.
Variety
22 May 1968
p. 4.
Variety
12 Mar 1969
p. 22.
Variety
2 Apr 1969
p. 5, 76.
Variety
2 Apr 1969
p. 76.
Variety
7 May 1969
p. 35, 222.
Variety
2 Jul 1969
p. 11.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Sheriff
Release Date:
26 March 1969
Premiere Information:
Detroit opening: 26 March 1969
New York City opening: 8 April 1969
Production Date:
18 or 19 March--30 April 1968
Copyright Claimant:
Cherokee Productions
Copyright Date:
26 March 1969
Copyright Number:
LP36780
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor, print by DeLuxe
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
21901
SYNOPSIS

While burying an itinerant stranger in the small western town of Calendar, Prudy Perkins, the daughter of the ineffectual mayor, spots gold in the open grave, leaps in to stake her claim, and turns the funeral into a scrambling riot. With that incident, the gold rush begins as hordes of prospectors, pioneers, and prostitutes swarm into Calendar. Since the only road in or out of town is blocked by a ranch belonging to the conniving Danby clan, old Pa Danby demands a levy of twenty percent of every gold shipment that passes through. After three of Mayor Perkins' sheriffs have been disposed of by the Danbys, an easygoing stranger named Jason McCullough rides into town while en route to Australia. Jason agrees to accept the post of temporary sheriff because he cannot afford the inflationary prices in the boom town. Quickly breaking up a street brawl by hosing down the participants, Jason makes Jake, a dimwitted drunk, his deputy and arrests Joe Danby for murder, placing him in the new jail that does not yet have bars. While Jason settles down as a boarder in the Perkins's home, Pa Danby plots ways to get his son out of jail. His schemes fail dismally, however, and Pa summons all the Danbys in the territory to help dispose of the troublesome Jason. But when they march into town, Jason tricks them into holding their fire until he has had time to take Joe and tie him across the town's Civil War cannon. By threatening to put his lighted cigar to the cannon's fuse, Jason forces the Danbys to drop their firearms. Boasting to Prudy that he bluffed the Danbys with an ... +


While burying an itinerant stranger in the small western town of Calendar, Prudy Perkins, the daughter of the ineffectual mayor, spots gold in the open grave, leaps in to stake her claim, and turns the funeral into a scrambling riot. With that incident, the gold rush begins as hordes of prospectors, pioneers, and prostitutes swarm into Calendar. Since the only road in or out of town is blocked by a ranch belonging to the conniving Danby clan, old Pa Danby demands a levy of twenty percent of every gold shipment that passes through. After three of Mayor Perkins' sheriffs have been disposed of by the Danbys, an easygoing stranger named Jason McCullough rides into town while en route to Australia. Jason agrees to accept the post of temporary sheriff because he cannot afford the inflationary prices in the boom town. Quickly breaking up a street brawl by hosing down the participants, Jason makes Jake, a dimwitted drunk, his deputy and arrests Joe Danby for murder, placing him in the new jail that does not yet have bars. While Jason settles down as a boarder in the Perkins's home, Pa Danby plots ways to get his son out of jail. His schemes fail dismally, however, and Pa summons all the Danbys in the territory to help dispose of the troublesome Jason. But when they march into town, Jason tricks them into holding their fire until he has had time to take Joe and tie him across the town's Civil War cannon. By threatening to put his lighted cigar to the cannon's fuse, Jason forces the Danbys to drop their firearms. Boasting to Prudy that he bluffed the Danbys with an unloaded cannon, Jason lights the fuse and demolishes Madame Orr's brothel. As Prudy falls into Jason's arms, he agrees to marry her and consents to remain on as sheriff. +

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.