The Fastest Gun Alive

Director: Russell Rouse

Cast: Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Noah Beery, Jr., Allyn Joslyn, John Dehner, Leif Erickson, Russ Tamblyn, J.M. Kerrigan, Rhys Williams, Virginia Gregg, Chubby Johnson, John Doucette, Christopher Olsen, Joseph Sweeney, William Phillips, Paul Birch, Florenz Ames

George Temple (Ford) is the quiet owner of a general store in Cross Creek, a small town in the American West. After four years in the town, George and his wife Dora (Crain) have settled into a nice life. Unlike most other men in town, George neither carries a gun nor drinks alcohol, but he secretly goes out of the settlement into the scrublands to practice shooting his revolver. Vinnie Harold (Crawford) is a gunman who leads a small gang of marauding bank robbers. Something in Vinnie’s past compels him to prove that he is the fastest gun alive, and he seeks out men reputed for their fast draw and forces pistol duels in which he always prevails. In Cross Creek, George shows signs of stress. He becomes moody and snaps at his wife, who warns him that he is jeopardizing the good life they have built in the peaceful town. In a fit of temper, George orders a drink at the local bar. After a few whiskies, angered by townspeople’s annoying talk of gunfights, George shows off his prowess as a shooter. George and Dora argue and she threatens to leave him if he does not overcome the issue that has been bothering him for years—guilt over not confronting his father’s killer and fear of the gunmen who might want to challenge him. On the run after a brutal bank robbery, Vinnie and his men come to Cross Creek, and suddenly the town’s fate is in George’s hands. Vinnie threatens to burn down the town if the fast gun he’s heard about won’t meet him in a duel. The second fastest gunman won’t live through the day. Based on the story The Last Notch by Frank D. Gilroy.

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