Audie Murphy Does Clint
Two years after he was forced to leave his hometown of Shelby, Clint Cooper (Audie Murphy - Gunfight at Comanche Creek) returns to claim his late father's land. But he is still not welcome in the town especially as Tom Morrison (Walter Sande - Anything Goes) is still sore over the killing of his two sons by Clint. But Clint has news as he bumped into the Spangler (Ted de Corsia - Showdown at Abilene) gang on his way there and knows they are planning to raid the town, robbing the bank and torching the town to the ground. The question is will the men of Shelby listen to Clint or will the anger of Tom Morrison prevent him from helping.
"The Quick Gun" is like the set on which it is filmed upon, there is no depth.As you look around the small set which makes up the town of Shelby it all looks temporary, put together for a western but with no style or character. Basically that means "The Quick Gun" is just another western, churned out as a crowd pleaser with Audie Murphy delivering yet another western hero who has had a bad past but is now looking to come good. I wish I could say there was something, a moment of action or a clever twist which made it memorable but "The Quick Gun" is so routine that it sort of goes on in front of your eyes without you taking any of it in.
Story wise "The Quick Gun" feels like a collection of cliches and in fact in part it is very similar to "Noose for a Gunman". As such there are zero surprises in "The Quick Gun" as we watch Clint having to deal with the bitter father alongside the cousin of the men he killed 2 years earlier who want their revenge. He also has to deal with the animosity of the town that fear him because he has become a renowned gun fighter, plus he has to deal with the girl he left behind having got engaged to someone else in his absence. It is all very typical with moments of drama and action such as a saloon brawl peppering things before it gets to the main part which is Spangler and his gang attacking the town.
Now a routine storyline wouldn't be an issue if there was some style to it but "The Quick Gun" has that feel of a quickly made western on a small budget. The sets look new and temporary, the background actors look like rent a cast and there is absolutely no depth to it. Even the action, be it a gun fight or a brawl all seem quite mundane and the one scene which has potential to be tense, a final stand off is so poorly handled that you end up kind of glad it is all over.
Along with "The Quick Gun" being typical so are the performances with Audie Murphy delivering the same sort of hero characterisation he traded on in a lot of westerns. So one moment we have Clint smiling, the next there is the gritted teeth and the moment of loss as it seems no one will give him a chance. To put it simply Audie Murphy's performance whilst the best thing about "The Quick Gun" is just as forgettable as everything else. Even the beautiful Merry Anders is underused as love interest Helen and James Best who plays Sheriff Scotty Wade seems to have been cast because he has a youthful appearance.
What this all boils down to is that "The Quick Gun" isn't really a bad western but purely one which is run of the mill and ultimately forgettable. And when it comes to Audie Murphy's westerns it most certainly doesn't rank very highly with him going through the motions of the youthful looking hero routine.