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Westerns/Remembering the name of a Western


Hey Bruce,

This was a Western movie, probably from the 60' or 70s.

I cant remember much about it, but im going to try!

The main actor was fast on the draw. If I remember correctly at one point in the movie a kid walks upon behind him and says "Draw", he turns around to defend himself and almost ends up shooting the kid. This really upset him, thinking he almost shot a kid. I want to say his first name in the movie was Billy, but im not sure about that.

This is the way I remeber the ending it may be totally wrong, but it seams like the town hung him, he died from the hanging and for some reason a band of indians were riding in to town to save him and when they got there it was to late, they turn around and left. It may have ended with the 1974 song "Billy Don't Be A Hero".

This is the way I remember it, but it was a long time ago.

I know for sure it was not Deadwood '76.  In my google surches it took me to that western more than once.  I watched it, it was the wrong movie.

I hope you know it!


Hey, Jon:

  I want to recommend an older movie which has a lot of the plot elements which you are looking for. It is called "The Gunfighter" and it came out in 1950. The movie revolves around an aging gunfighter, John Ringo (played by Gregory Peck) who is notorious but craves peace and serenity. However his reputation precedes him. When a cocksure young man named Eddie (Richard Jaeckel) deliberately provokes an argument and draws on him, Ringo has no choice but to kill him. Ringo is warned to leave the area because the deceased has three brothers who are certain to seek revenge. Sure enough, the brothers pursue him, but he takes them by surprise, disarming them and driving off their horses.

Ringo then stops to wait in the nearby town of Cayenne, where he occupies a corner of the largely empty saloon for most of the remaining film. It is only revealed later that he is hoping for a chance to see his wife and young son, whom he has not seen in eight years. The local barkeeper, Mac (Karl Malden), remembers him from the past in another town and alerts Sheriff Mark Strett (Millard Mitchell), who turns out to be an old friend of Ringo's. Strett also knows Ringo's wife Peggy (Helen Westcott), and tells Ringo she has changed her surname to hide their past life together. Urging Ringo to leave town as quickly as possible, Strett nevertheless agrees to go and ask Peggy to come and see him. She declines, still fearing the notorious and hotheaded nature of Ringo's younger days that drove them apart.

While waiting, Ringo also has to deal with Hunt Bromley (Skip Homeier), the young local would-be gunslinger who is keen to make a name for himself, and Jerry Marlowe (an uncredited Cliff Clark), a semi-retired man who mistakenly believes Ringo killed his son some years before. Ringo also meets another friend from the past, a bar-girl named Molly (Jean Parker), who eventually persuades Peggy to come and talk to her husband. Meeting at last, Ringo tells his wife that he has changed, that he wants to settle down somewhere where people do not know him, possibly out in California, and asks her to leave with him. She refuses, but agrees to reconsider in a year's time if he will remain true to his word. Ringo also gets acquainted with his son at last, although he does not tell him of their relationship.

However, by this time Ringo has spent too long in town. The three brothers are still trailing him and arrive, but are captured by Strett and his deputies before they can ambush Ringo. As Ringo makes final preparations to leave, Bromley seizes his chance. Eager to get himself a reputation as a gunfighter, Bromley shoots Ringo in the back, fatally wounding him. Word quickly spreads through the town that Bromley has shot Ringo. As Ringo lies dying he tells Sheriff Strett to say that he, rather than Bromley, drew first. When Bromley starts to say that he doesn't want Ringo's help, Ringo rejects Bromley's words, informing his killer that he will soon know how it feels to have every hotshot and two-bit gunfighter out to get him in turn. An angry Strett tells Bromley to leave town immediately, punctuating his order with a severe beating which he warns is "just the beginning" of what Bromley's got coming to him for killing Ringo. It is clear that Bromley has become a magnet for trouble: he will soon discover (just as Ringo did) that notoriety as a gunfighter is in reality a curse which will follow him wherever he goes, making him both an outcast and a target for the rest of his life.

The film closes with Peggy Walsh attending Jimmy Ringo's funeral, making her way through the crowd around the church door with her son to reveal, quietly but with pride, what the townsfolk have never known Ė that she is Mrs Jimmy Ringo. Thus, despite his death, the gunfighter finally achieves what he sought in coming to the town Ė his wife's forgiveness and reconciliation.

  Bob Dylan references this movie in a song called "Brownsville Girl" that came out in 1986 on his release "Knocked Out and Loaded", I have enclosed these lyrics as well.
      Well, there was this movie I seen one time,
   About a man riding 'cross the desert and it starred Gregory Peck.
   He was shot down by a hungry kid trying to make a name for himself.
   The townspeople wanted to crush that kid down and string him up by the neck."

   "Well, the marshal, now he beat that kid to a bloody pulp
   As the dying gunfighter lay in the sun and gasped for his last breath.
   Turn him loose, let him go, let him say he outdrew me fair and square,
   I want him to feel what it's like to every moment face his death..."

A mixture of desert-related travels, dreams and desires, the song returns to the Gunfighter-related theme several verses later:

   "Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.
   I donít have any regrets, they can talk about me plenty when Iím gone.
   You always said people donít do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent.
   And I always said, 'Hang on to me, baby, and let's hope that the roof stays on.'"

   "There was a movie I seen one time, I think I sat through it twice.
   I donít remember who I was or where I was bound.
   All I remember about it was it starred Gregory Peck, he wore a gun and he was shot in the back.
   Seems like a long time ago, long before the stars were torn down."

   "Brownsville girl with your Brownsville curls,
   Teeth like pearls shining like the moon above
   Brownsville girl, show me all around the world,
   Brownsville girl, youíre my honey love

 The song "Billy Don't Be a Hero" is a 1974 anti war pop song recorded by Paper Lace.To the best of my knowledge, it has never appeared in any western I have seen.

 I hope this information helps you.If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to write me. It has been my pleasure to try and help you.

 Take care and be richly blessed,
 Bruce Simon


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Bruce Simon


I can answer virtually any question concerning TV westerns since 1950. I also have collected Western movies faithfully since 1984 and own several hundred (prominent ones such as High Noon or How the West was Won) as well as B movies and below (White Comanche and The Sundowners)I own rare TV series such as Yancey Derringer,the 13 episodes of Tate with David Maclean, and select episodes of Judge Roy Bean


I have been a Western aficionado since the age of 8 (so for the last 50 years). I have been a faithful collector of Lone Ranger episodes and memorabilia since the early 1970s. I find myself drawn more to the black and white series because I find color an unnecessary plot distraction and love to study the evolution and settlement of the Old West through the leather bound Time-Life series on the West. The principal factor which attracts me to this period is the consistent triumph of virtue over vice. The forces of evil, no matter how malevolent, are never victorious in any Western. So I am appreciative of the inflexible morality set forth in most Western series

I have belonged to 5 different churches in 35 years where I have held posts of Sunday school teacher, outreach leader, and board member. Since my retirement to Rowlesburg, West Virginia, I have held the post of Town Park Commissioner for 2 years and anticipate a position on our Town Council beginning in July.

I was a free lance book reviewer for the Richmond Times Dispatch for 15 years, I reviewed 129 books during this period. I also reviewed 25 books for Style Weekly, an independent publication.

I have a BA in English Literature and a minor in Linguistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. I graduated in 1976. I also had a half year of Bible College from New Life Outreach in Richmond, Virginia (1984-1985)

Awards and Honors
While employed by the Richmond Public Library for 29 years, I have been honored for outstanding customer service and have received awards for creative programming for Young Adults on 2 occasions.

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I am still an expert for the category of mystery fiction on this website.

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