The Quiet Gun ★★★

Said gun of quiet belongs to Forrest Tucker, the future F TROOP star essaying a sheriff in a small western town. Tucker is backed into defending his friend, rancher Jim Davis (COMES A HORSEMAN), against a buttinski city attorney (Lewis Martin) who acts offended that a teenage Indian girl (Mara Corday) is living with Davis, as well as barkeep Tom Brown (IN OLD CHICAGO) and Brown’s gunman (Lee Van Cleef), who are in cahoots to steal Davis’ land for their cattle rustling operation. Complicating matters is Davis’ estranged wife (Kathleen Crowley), whom Tucker loves.

Though there’s more talk than action, when the violence occurs, it comes quickly and without apology, staged by director William F. Claxton (NIGHT OF THE LEPUS) for realistic effect. Claxton gives Van Cleef a strong introduction in the film’s opening shot, but after bullying slow stableman Hank Worden (THE SEARCHERS) in the first reel, the actor isn’t used to strong effect. Tucker’s character is shown as clever and resourceful under pressure, as well as a good shot. As solid as Tucker is, he and Davis could easily have switched roles, and it wouldn’t have affected the story a bit.