Riding Shotgun (1954)

74-75 mins | Western | 10 April 1954

Director:

Andre DeToth

Producer:

Ted Sherdeman

Cinematographer:

Bert Glennon

Editor:

Rudi Fehr

Production Designer:

Edward Carrere

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Voice-over narration spoken by Randolph Scott as "Larry Delong" is heard intermittently throughout the film. Modern sources add Carol Henry to the cast. The HR review described Riding Shotgun as the "latest" of "off-beat satires which get chuckles out of kidding themselves." Other reviews described the film as tongue-in-cheek or satirical, questioning whether it was meant to be a "hoax or an honest western." Although only the NYT review found the western to be "as ordinary as they come," the Var reviewer wrote that the success of the film, in which "endless dialogue supplants motion until the climax," would depend on "whether the spectator regards it as a satire on westerns or a giddyap drama with a multitude of unintentional laughs." Riding Shotgun marked Ted Sherdeman's debut as a ... More Less

Voice-over narration spoken by Randolph Scott as "Larry Delong" is heard intermittently throughout the film. Modern sources add Carol Henry to the cast. The HR review described Riding Shotgun as the "latest" of "off-beat satires which get chuckles out of kidding themselves." Other reviews described the film as tongue-in-cheek or satirical, questioning whether it was meant to be a "hoax or an honest western." Although only the NYT review found the western to be "as ordinary as they come," the Var reviewer wrote that the success of the film, in which "endless dialogue supplants motion until the climax," would depend on "whether the spectator regards it as a satire on westerns or a giddyap drama with a multitude of unintentional laughs." Riding Shotgun marked Ted Sherdeman's debut as a producer.

More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
13 Mar 1954.
---
Daily Variety
4 Mar 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Mar 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
22 Apr 1954.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1953
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 1953
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1953
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1953
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 54
p. 3.
Los Angeles Daily News
22 Apr 1954.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
22 Apr 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Mar 54
p. 2206.
New York Times
2 Apr 54
p. 22.
Variety
10 Mar 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 April 1954
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 April 1954
Production Date:
9 March--late March 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 April 1954
Copyright Number:
LP5354
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
WarnerColor
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16446
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the 1800s, Larry Delong wanders the West "riding shotgun" as a stagecoach guard, while searching for a ruthless killer, Dan Marady. Delong is so intent on his mission to find and kill Marady that he is lured from his post into a trap by an old-timer bearing Marady's good-luck piece, a Berringer pocket gun. After being captured by Marady's gang and left to die in the hills, Delong frees himself and retrieves his horse and gun, as well as the pocket gun that the old-timer dropped in the scuffle. As it is too late to stop the gang from attacking his stagecoach, Delong tries to warn the citizens in the nearby town of Deep Water that, while the sheriff and his posse are out investigating the stagecoach attack, the gang plans to rob their casino. To his surprise, Delong finds the townspeople, who have been his neighbors and friends, hostile toward him and soon learns that his fellow guard, Bob Purdee, was killed in the attack. Moreover, a young child and his mother riding the coach recognized the old-timer among the attackers as the man who rode off with Delong and from this the townspeople have concluded that Delong is part of the gang. Except for Delong's girl friend, Orissa Flynn, and Doc Winkler, no one believes in his innocence, not even Delong's ten-year-old admirer Johnny, who shoots him with a slingshot. Fearing that he has been sent by Marady to discourage the posse from pursuing them, the townspeople take Delong's horse, preventing him from riding out to warn the sheriff. The town's unrelenting suspicions finally cause Delong to take refuge in a cantina owned by the ... +


In the 1800s, Larry Delong wanders the West "riding shotgun" as a stagecoach guard, while searching for a ruthless killer, Dan Marady. Delong is so intent on his mission to find and kill Marady that he is lured from his post into a trap by an old-timer bearing Marady's good-luck piece, a Berringer pocket gun. After being captured by Marady's gang and left to die in the hills, Delong frees himself and retrieves his horse and gun, as well as the pocket gun that the old-timer dropped in the scuffle. As it is too late to stop the gang from attacking his stagecoach, Delong tries to warn the citizens in the nearby town of Deep Water that, while the sheriff and his posse are out investigating the stagecoach attack, the gang plans to rob their casino. To his surprise, Delong finds the townspeople, who have been his neighbors and friends, hostile toward him and soon learns that his fellow guard, Bob Purdee, was killed in the attack. Moreover, a young child and his mother riding the coach recognized the old-timer among the attackers as the man who rode off with Delong and from this the townspeople have concluded that Delong is part of the gang. Except for Delong's girl friend, Orissa Flynn, and Doc Winkler, no one believes in his innocence, not even Delong's ten-year-old admirer Johnny, who shoots him with a slingshot. Fearing that he has been sent by Marady to discourage the posse from pursuing them, the townspeople take Delong's horse, preventing him from riding out to warn the sheriff. The town's unrelenting suspicions finally cause Delong to take refuge in a cantina owned by the German immigrant, Fritz. When the chief deputy, Tub Murphy, returns to town with his assistant, Ross Hughes, the citizens clamor for Delong's arrest, but, reluctant to take charge or disbelieve Delong's story, Tub urges the citizens to wait for the sheriff. He does ask Delong to come, unofficially, to the sheriff's office, but Delong refuses, as he wants to remain free to fight Marady. Although no one is brave enough to confront Delong, who is an excellent marksman, the townspeople keep a vigil around the cantina, and many of Delong's innocent actions, such as reloading his gun, are interpreted by the crowd as intentionally harmful. Later, Winkler, seeing a lynch mob forming, tries to convince the townsmen that Marady has used the same strategy described by Delong in previous robberies and urges them to keep watch on the bank and casino, but the people remain stubbornly single-minded. When Orissa goes to the cantina to warn Delong that the crowd is getting meaner, Delong refuses to make an escape, explaining that he wants revenge on Marady, who killed his sister and nephew during a stagecoach attack three years before. Col. Flynn, who is Orissa's father and owner of the casino, orders Orissa out and asks Delong to give himself up. Delong persuades Orissa to leave with the colonel, but explains that it would be suicide for him to leave the safety of the cantina. Having worked up a collective courage, the townsmen try to flush out Delong and begin shooting. Delong refrains from returning fire, except to shoot out a candle flame that exposes his movements to the people outside. Marady and some of his gang ride into town, and Marady, judging that the townspeople's distraction with Delong will work to their advantage, enters the casino unobtrusively to await reinforcements, while his henchman Pinto mingles with the crowd. Then, Ben, a brash young man, tries to single-handedly drag Delong out, and Delong is forced to shoot back, but is careful to disarm him without doing serious harm. During the encounter, Delong spots Pinto in the crowd. Realizing that Marady is near, Delong escapes through the attic, leaving the crowd to discover his absence, and works his way to the casino, where a robbery is now in progress. Before entering, Delong cuts the cinch straps on the saddles of Marady's men, then shoots out the lights in the casino, and a gunfight ensues. The townspeople hear the shots and arrive in time to collect the escaping outlaws, who fall off their horses when they try to mount. In the darkened casino, Marady and Delong continue to fight. As he has been counting Delong's shots, Marady boldly approaches Delong after hearing six shots fired. Delong, however, still has Marady's good-luck pocket gun and with it, kills Marady. Outside, the crowd thanks Delong, but Pinto is with them, having so far escaped notice. When young Johnny sees Pinto taking aim at Delong, he uses his slingshot to hit the outlaw in the face with a rock, which gives Delong time to shoot in self-defense. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.