The Sheepman

A minor but irresistibly amiable semi-comic Western that looks both backwards to Marshall's own glorious Destry Rides Again and forwards to the Burt Kennedy films of the late '60s. The plot is archetypal - sheep farmer Ford arrives in town, only to incur the wrath of cattle baron Nielsen, whose girl MacLaine he eventually steals - and the comedy lies in the twists of characterisation. The tone is set as soon as Ford mildly asks for a cigar instead of setting up the usual whisky in the saloon: a symbol not of weakness (as the town bully reads it) but of his uncompromising independence (he immediately proceeds to beat up said thug). Sturdy performances all round, so that even the action sequences deliver a punch.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: George Marshall
Screenwriter: William Bowers, James Edward Grant
Cast: Glenn Ford
Shirley MacLaine
Leslie Nielsen
Mickey Shaughnessy
Edgar Buchanan
Pernell Roberts
Slim Pickens
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