No Name on the Bullet
Cool, cultured John Gant rides into Lordsburg. Gant is a professional killer, and although no one knows who he is there to kill, they are all worried. Everyone has enemies, and maybe Gant is in town for them. While they wait for him to make his move, paranoia starts taking over... Written by Ken Yousten John Gant, hired assassin rides into town. No one is sure of the identity of his intended victim. Townsfolk have shady pasts that make each one believe that John Gant is there to kill them. While each townsperson is falling apart from guilt, Gant is waiting in the hotel but is still given the blame for the shootings and the suicide of the Banker. Written by Carol Johnson
Lordsburg is a quiet western town, until one day notorious hired assasing John Gant (Audie Murphy) rides in and takes a room at the saloon. Soon, there are rumors that he's come to kill one of the inhabitants, but who? And who hired him? With many of the town's finest citizens having skeletons in their closet, fear and paranoia begin to rule, the social fabric disintegrates and neighbors start killing each other while stone faced Gant sits quietly in the saloon, sipping coffee.
It's a cheap backlot western, but with it's uncompromising look at human nature, complex moral questions and an ending that lives up to the great premise, No Name on the Bullet is an example of just how good those cheap backlot westerns can be.
A very short and mild psychological western. It lacks the mind numbing stress that the "Ox-Bo Incident" does, but it is still pretty good at showing a town wound up. For being a little guy, Audie Murphy does a pretty good job at showing fearlessness. Of course, if you know his real-life story it's easier to make the jump, which they were counting on in 1959. Anyway, it's a pretty good western mystery with pretty standard 1950's gun-play.
When you think of the great stars of the western genre, you think of the likes of John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Randolph Scott and Clint Eastwood. Lost amidst these stalwarts of sagebrush cinema is a rather diminutive player who also carved out quite a nice career... Audie Murphy. You can never confuse his talents with those of the men I mentioned, but he did bring his own style and flair to the films he was in, especially when he was in his prime. I had seen some of his early efforts and they could best be described as wooden and lacking screen presence, but by the early fifties, he was starting to get it. He would never be…
Just watched NO NAME ON THE BULLET, directed by Jack Arnold. This is a western starring Audie Murphy as a hired killer with a bad reputation.; he rides into town one day, and the entire town gets so wound up and paranoid that they nearly tear each other apart. I normally don't like westerns, but this movie immediately struck me as a great paranoia-movie, sorta like Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The third act of the movie returns to the formula of just being a standard western, however, ruining what started out as a great concept. Audie Murphy makes a good villain, not because he seems sinister, but because he seems nice and normal.