The Fastest Gun Alive
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Time Out saysSimilar in theme to Henry King's The Gunfighter, this begins impressively, with Crawfordriding into town to challenge a complete stranger ('They say you're faster than me') and triumphantly out-drawing him ('Get him a headstone to say he was killed by the fastest gun alive'), only to be faced by a blind man's prophetic warning ('No matter how fast you are, there's always someone faster'). Meanwhile, mild storekeeper Ford wrestles with his promise to his wife (Crain) to forget about his prowess with a gun. Unfortunately, having set up the inevitability of confrontation, the script loses its ballad-like directness, meandering through a bank robbery, taking in a dance number for Tamblyn, and providing yards of psychological explanation (Ford, afraid of guns, is obsessed with his failure to avenge his father's death; Crawford, whose wife left him for another man, is out to prove he is mucho macho). That said, the reactions ofthe townsfolk are detailed with some complexity, the key scenes are extremely well staged, and the performances are excellent.