Top Gun (1955 film)

Top Gun is a 1955 Western film directed by Ray Nazarro. The plot concerns an ex-gunslinger (Sterling Hayden) who arrives in a small town warning of an impending attack by his old gang. The film features Rod Taylor in one of his first American roles.[1]

Top Gun
Directed byRay Nazarro
Produced byEdward Small (uncredited)
Screenplay bySteve Fisher
Richard Schayer
Based onstory by Steve Fisher
StarringSterling Hayden
Music byIrving Gertz
CinematographyLester White
Edited byHenry Adams
Dwright Caldwell
Fame Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • December 21, 1955 (1955-12-21) (Los Angeles)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States


Rick Martin returns home to Casper, Wyoming, where he is unwanted because of his reputation as a gunslinger. He does have a few friends in town, including Marshal Bat Davis and hotel owner Jim O'Hara.

As Rick visits his mother's grave, he notices a marker beside hers with his name on it; there is also an open grave, ready for him. Bat arrives and Rick informs him that an outlaw they have both ridden with in the past, Tom Quentin, and his gang of fifteen men are on the way to take what they want from Casper. Bat tells the town council this and tries to rustle up a posse. In spite of Rick wanting to stay and help, the officials insist he leave town by midnight.

Rick rides to former sweetheart Laura Mead's ranch to ask her to marry him and move to California, but she is engaged to a wealthy council member, Canby Judd.

Rick learns his mother was cheated out of her ranch by Judd and murdered by him. After a fistfight, Judd hires gunfighter Lem Sutter to ambush Rick, but when Sutter ends up dead, and Judd lies about how it happened, Bat has no choice but to place Rick under arrest. Bat tries to head off Quentin on the trail, but is shot. Townspeople now beg Rick for help. He is able to kill Quentin in a fair fight, and Laura kills Judd when he is about to shoot Rick in the back. Rick and Laura pack up and leave for California.



Filming started June 1955.[2]

Female lead Karin Booth was married to the grandson of Allan Pinkerton—founder of the world-famous Pinkerton Detective Agency—and producer Edward Small announced plans to star her as a female Pinkerton detective, but no film seems to have resulted.[3]

See also


  1. Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, Bear Manor Media 2010 p 50
  2. Hayden Next Will Star in Top Gun: Cole Porter 'Wonderland' Readying Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Mar 1955: B9.
  3. Pinkerton Production on Hot Slate; 'Hired Guns' Speeds Project Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 June 1955: 19.

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