Gunman's Walk

Gunman's Walk is a 1958 American CinemaScope Technicolor Western film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Van Heflin and Tab Hunter.[1]

Gunman's Walk
1958 theatrical poster
Directed byPhil Karlson
Produced byFred Kohlmar
Written byRic Hardman
Screenplay byFrank S. Nugent
StarringVan Heflin
Tab Hunter
Kathryn Grant
James Darren
Music byGeorge Duning
CinematographyCharles Lawton Jr.
Edited byJerome Thoms
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 1958 (1958-07)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States


Davy Hackett (James Darren) and his hot-tempered, arrogant older brother Ed (Tab Hunter) are about to assist their rancher father Lee (Van Heflin) on a cattle drive to Wyoming. The brothers meet Cecily "Clee" Chouard (Kathryn Grant), a beautiful half-French, half-Sioux woman, and when Ed makes unwanted advances toward her, Davy intervenes.

Clee's brother Paul (Bert Convy) is invited to join the cattle drive. Ed, obsessed with capturing a white mare, resents Paul's interference and pushes him off a cliff to his death. It is witnessed by two Indians, but when the case comes to court, Ed is released because Lee has bribed a man named Sieverts (Ray Teal) to lie that the death was an accident. Lee learns that Davy is in love with Clee and disowns him.

Sieverts is given 10 horses in exchange, but when he selects the white mare, Ed shoots him. Jailed once again, Ed shoots a deputy and escapes. Lee hunts down his own son and kills him, then leads Davy and Clee back to the ranch.


Production notes

Ric Hardman wrote the original script and it was adapted by Frank Nugent. Van Heflin signed to star in August 1957.[2] Rudolph Mate was originally meant to be the director but he dropped out. Tab Hunter was borrowed from Warner Bros.[3]

Columbia contractee James Darren was assigned to a support role. Filming started in November 1957.[4][5]

Director Phil Karlson says the film reduced Columbia studio head Harry Cohn to tears. "He had two sons and this was a story about a father and two sons. He identified completely."[6]

See also


  1. Gunman's Walk at AllMovie
  2. GOYA'S LIFE STORY PLANNED AS FILM New York Times 15 Aug 1957: 18.
  3. FILM WRITERS MAP TOLL-TV DEMANDS By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times 27 Sep 1957: 16.
  4. POITIER LEAVES MOVIE OF 'PORGY'By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times 11 Nov 1957: 34.
  5. James Darren Well on Way to Hitting Jackpot of Stardom Scott, John L. Los Angeles Times 27 Apr 1958: E1.
  6. Todd McCarthy and Richard Thompson. “Phil Karlson: Interview, November 19, 1973” Kings of the Bs; Working Within the Hollywood System, eds. Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1975), pp. 327-345. Rpt. Cine Resort, Oct. 7 2014
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