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Gun the Man Down

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Title: Gun the Man Down  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1956 in film, Angie Dickinson, James Arness, Henryk Wars, Andrew V. McLaglen, Batjac Productions, Frank Fenton (actor), William H. Clothier, Emile Meyer, List of American films of 1956
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gun the Man Down

Gun the Man Down
DVD cover
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Produced by John Wayne
Robert E. Morrison
Screenplay by Burt Kennedy
Based on a story by
Sam C. Freedle
Starring James Arness
Angie Dickinson
Music by Henry Vars
Cinematography William H. Clothier
Edited by A. Edward Sutherland
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • November¬†15,¬†1956¬†(1956-11-15)
Running time 74 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Gun the Man Down is a 1956 western film distributed through United Artists and starring James Arness and Angie Dickinson in her first leading role. The movie was produced by John Wayne and his brother Robert E. Morrison for Wayne's company Batjac Productions and was the second theatrical feature directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, but his first of many westerns.


Three outlaws rob a bank, but one of them is wounded. His two partners kidnap his girlfriend take his share of the money and run off, leaving him to be captured by the sheriff. Years later, after he gets out of prison, he goes in search of his double-crossing partners and his girlfriend. He finds them in a semi-deserted, run-down town, but instead of killing them right away, he decides to play cat-and-mouse with them first.


Production notes

Gun the Man Down remains arguably most notable for containing actress Angie Dickinson's first starring role. She would go on to star in successful films such as Rio Bravo opposite John Wayne and Dean Martin, Ocean's Eleven with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Captain Newman, M.D. opposite Gregory Peck, The Killers (in which she's slapped in the face by villain Ronald Reagan) and Point Blank, both opposite Lee Marvin, and The Chase with Marlon Brando and Robert Redford.

James Arness was later recommended by Gun the Man Down producer John Wayne for the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the television version of Gunsmoke, a part Arness played for the next twenty years. Wayne introduced the series in a film clip shown immediately before the initial episode while dressed in cowboy garb and speaking directly to the camera. Arness had earlier portrayed the Frankenstein-like "carrot monster" glimpsed in the conclusion of Howard Hawks' 1951 version of The Thing. Arness' brother was actor Peter Graves.

Andrew V. McLaglen, the movie's director, was the son of actor and former boxer Victor McLaglen, and went on to direct ninety-six episodes of Gunsmoke starring James Arness as well as five movies starring Gun the Man Down producer John Wayne, among many others. Gun the Man Down also remains notable for being the first western McLaglen directed.

External links

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