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The Last Challenge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Last Challenge
Poster of the movie The Last Challenge.jpg
Original film poster
Directed byRichard Thorpe
Written byRobert Emmett Ginna, John Sherry
Based onPistolero's Progress
by John Sherry
Produced byRichard Thorpe
StarringGlenn Ford
Angie Dickinson
CinematographyEllsworth Fredricks
Edited byRichard W. Farrell
Music byRichard Shores
Color processMetrocolor
Production
company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 27, 1967 (1967-12-27)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Last Challenge is a 1967 American Western in Panavision, produced and directed by Richard Thorpe (marking his final film). The film starred Glenn Ford and Angie Dickinson and centered around a town sheriff contending with his reputation as the "fastest gun in the West." It is also known under the titles of Pistolero and The Pistolero of Red River.

The Last Challenge was adapted from Pistolero's Progress, a novel by John Sherry (John Olden Sherry) and published by Pocket Books in 1966. It is widely and falsely reported that the screenplay for The Last Challenge was written by Albert Maltz, the blacklisted writer. The confusion is due to Maltz' use of the pseudonym John B. Sherry.[1]

Peter Ford in his biography of his father Glenn Ford: A Life noted, "Oddly the picture Dad made after The Last Challenge, called Day of the Evil Gun, was directed by Jerry Thorpe, Richard's son. This must be the only case in film history where the same star made back-to-back movies directed first by a father and then by his son".[2]

Plot

A cocky young man from Tennessee, Lot McGuire (Chad Everett), seeks to back up his notion that he's the fastest gun there is. "If a man is second best, he might as well be dead," says McGuire. He travels to a town with the intention of forcing a duel with Marshal Dan Blaine (Glenn Ford), who's renowned for his skill with a gun.

McGuire happens upon a man fishing, but does not know it is Blaine. They enjoy each others' company, but when McGuire tells Blaine of his desire to have a gunfight with Blaine, Blaine makes himself known. When McGuire finds out that it is Blaine he is speaking to, he moves on, not wanting to get too friendly with the man he intends to kill.

Brothel owner Lisa Denton (Angie Dickinson) loves Blaine, has marriage in mind and will do anything to ensure that happens. She hires a down-and-out drifter, Scarnes (Jack Elam), to kill McGuire. Scarnes and Blaine did time together in prison for a bank robbery many years ago, after which Blaine decided to do something good with his life, and became a lawman.

In the next several days, Blaine and McGuire have several conversations. They even work together to help bring in a group of Indians who are disorderly. Blaine discerns that McGuire is not really a bad man, and he tells McGuire that he does not believe that he (McGuire) is a real killer, but is in the gunfighting line of work just to become known. Blaine tries to tell McGuire to not go through with taking him on, because he will have to shoot him, since if he doesn't, he believes it will cause unlawful men to come to town, thinking that either Blaine is vulnerable or else has lost his heart or nerve for taking on bad men.

Outside of town, Scarnes ambushes McGuire and kills his horse, but during a shootout is gut-shot. McGuire finds out from a dying Scarnes that Lisa hired him. Lisa tells of her love for Blaine and asks Lot to leave town. He refuses.

Knowing a showdown is coming, Lisa gets out her Derringer pistol and prepares to kill McGuire, but a disgusted Blaine finds her and takes the gun from her. The two men meet at the bar and the showdown occurs there rather than in the street. McGuire draws his revolver (which is worn in a reverse fashion) first and fires. Blaine shoots him in the chest. A stunned McGuire dies, eyes open and speechless.

Blaine notices he has been shot in the side, but it is not fatal. The next day as McGuire's casket is being lowered into the ground, Blaine removes his gun and holster and throws them into the grave. He rides out of town without a gun, as Lisa watches from the saloon steps, crying.

Cast

Reception

The New York Times in an unsigned review while complimentary about the cast and that the screenplay was "lean and uncluttered" concluded it was, "a small picture -- small, painless and pointless."[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Frustration trying to correct misinformation!!
  2. ^ Peter Ford. Glenn Ford: A Life. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011. p. 240.
  3. ^ Screen: 'Last Challenge': Cowpoke Doesn't Trust Over-30 Glenn Ford

External links

This page was last edited on 29 May 2022, at 03:49
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