Noose For A Gunman, Britton reluctantly returns to his home town where he had killed two men. The citizens are none too enthused about his return, but Marshal Tom Evans becomes more friendly when Cases explains that he has returned to warn the town that bandit Jack Cantrell intends to rob the stage and express office. Case’s sweetheart Della Haines is a passenger on the stage. Case and the Marshal decide on a defense play.
Intelligent B Western
Noose For A Gunman, Here’s an above-average B Western with good acting, intelligent plot & characters. Nothing special plot-wise, just a solid B western that’s not stupid. Ted de Corsia does the best acting in this film, in the midst of a solid cast. Walter Sande plays an almost unique character for a B Western, the town sheriff who is not the main Good Guy, yet acts sensibly & has intelligence, how odd! Barton MacLane, Lyn Thomas, Leo Gordon, & Harry Carey Jr. are all good in supporting roles. Jim Davis, the star of the film, puts in a fine, understated performance here, that reminds me in some ways of Wild Bill Elliot, which places Davis in the upper echelon of B Western actors, along with Elliot, although neither is a match for William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy). For some reason, this film is not listed in either Maltin book (his main movie book or the B&W films review book). The rest of the cast is fine, too. Certainly worth a watch.
Better than you’d expect given the material.
When the film begins, Case Britton (Jim Davis) enters a town that clearly doesn’t want him. In fact, there’s a noose with his name on it! It seems that years before, he’d been involved in some sort of shootout and he was exiled forever. He’s back because he knows that a gang is about to rob the bank but many of the townsfolk don’t believe him and refuse his help. The man behind much of this is the local boss-man (Barton MacLane–playing a VERY typical sort of role for him). What’s to happen when the gang arrives?
This material is pretty pedestrian and lots of westerns have been made with similar plot material. The evil boss is VERY common as is the town full of folks who refuse to stand up to the gang of outlaws–as are several other parts of the film. But, the film also has a couple things going for it–fine acting by Davis and a wonderful cliché-violating ending. See the film–see what I mean.