Jack McCall, Desperado

Jack McCall, Desperado is a 1953 Technicolor Western film directed by Sidney Salkow and starring George Montgomery.[1] It portrays the historical shooting of Wild Bill Hickok by Jack McCall in 1876.[2]

Jack McCall, Desperado
Directed bySidney Salkow
Produced bySam Katzman
Screenplay byJohn O'Dea
Story byDavid Chandler
StarringGeorge Montgomery
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Edited byAaron Stell
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 1, 1953 (1953-04-01)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film's sets were designed by the art director Paul Palmentola.


Jack McCall is a man from the South, but he joins the Union during the civil war. When he encounters three Confederate soldiers posing as Yankees, one of which is named Spargo, Jack tells them the place where the headquarters is located. Soon after he is tried as a spy. When Jack manages to escape, his cousin Bat McCall and Wild Bill Hickok kill his parents and plan to get hold of the McCall plantation and money. After the war Jack tries to prove his innocence and asks Spargo to testify. Spargo first agrees, but when Jack is captured again, Spargo decides to join Hickok and Bat. With the help of Rose Griffith, Jack manages to escape again and hopes to clear his name. Meanwhile, Hickok, Bat and Spargo have left for Kansas City. In search for gold, they plan to destroy the Sioux Indians. Jack, while still trying to clear his name, becomes aware of their plans and tries to stop them.



In November 1951 Katzan announced the film as part of his slate for the upcoming year.[3]

In January 1952 Katzman announced that George Montgomery would make two films for the producer, this and The Pathfinder.[4]

In April Douglas Kennedy was cast as Wild Bill Hickock.[5]


  1. Brode p.230
  2. JACK McCALL, DESPERADO Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 20, Iss. 228, (Jan 1, 1953): 53.
  3. Drama: Dunne and MacMurray Reunion Hinted; Sam Katzman Slate Notable Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 21 Nov 1951: A7.
  4. Montgomery Will Star in 'Pathfinder;' Tucker Plays Mutineer Pirate Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 Jan 1952: 19.
  5. Pine-Thomas Will Film Story of Head Hunters; TV Beauty in Thriller Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 26 Apr 1952: 9.


  • Douglas Brode. Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946–Present. University of Texas Press, 2010.

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