Gunslinger (1956) John Ireland, Beverly Garland, Allison Hayes, Martin Kingsley, Jonathan Haze Movie Review

Gunslinger (1956)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Beverly Garland and John Ireland in Gunslinger (1956)

Ireland's Rose Garland

When her husband, the Marshal of Oracle, Texas, is murdered Rose Hood (Beverly Garland) puts on the badge, filling in until a new marshal arrives in town which should be in two weeks. But Rose has got her hands full in those two weeks as saloon owner Erica Page (Allison Hayes) is sure the railroad is going to come through the area and is forcing people to sell up to her. But Erica is more cunning than that as she not only has her men steal her money back from those she buys land from but she sends one of her men to bring in a gunman to kill Rose before she works out what is going on and that she was behind her husband's murder.

A western featuring strong women is to be honest a rarity especially when it comes to the westerns of the 1950s and as such "Gunslinger" is certainly intriguing. And it is also entertaining as we watch Rose set about not only trying to find out who ever it was who killed her husband but also deal with the dominance of Erica as she bosses the area. But we have a further twist to the storyline as the hired killer played by John Ireland ends up falling for the woman he is being paid to kill.

Allison Hayes in Gunslinger (1956)

Now I am not going to lie and say any of this is complicated because at just 71 minutes "Gunslinger" keeps things simple and mostly cliche. But in a strange way that is part of this western's appeal as it is unfussy and just delivers some cowboy action. In fact "Gunslinger" is more entertaining than it probably deserves to be as the sets and the camera work is to be frank barely ordinary with a sense that this was one of those westerns made on the cheap to give those on contracts some thing to do.

What this all boils down to is that "Gunslinger" is just some simple western entertainment which works because it is simple to follow and pretty much cliche with just the slight bit of difference with this featuring a couple of strong women.