The Gunfighter is a 1950 western film starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell and Karl Malden. It was directed by Henry King.Aging gunslinger, Jimmy Ringo, rides into a strange town where he's immediately recognized. As kids gather at the saloon windows to glimpse the killer and townsfolk gossip about his exploits, the town marshal tries to keep the peace. He wants Ringo out of town, but Ringo asks for a few hours' grace to see his sweetheart, whom he hasn't seen in more than eight years, and their son, whom he's never seen. Meanwhile, three angry cowboys are on his trail and the town's young hothead is scheming to see just how fast Jimmy is. Ringo wants to be left alone, to live with his family, maybe on a small ranch away from his reputation. But can he escape that reputation and find peace?
The Gunfighter contains examples of:
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Decoy Antagonist: The gunslingers who spend the film tracking Ringo are easily neutralized, without bloodshed. Ringo's more threatened by Hunt Bromley.
- Downer Ending
- Fastest Gun in the West: Jimmy Ringo
- Genre Deconstruction: Of the Western.
- The Gunfighter Wannabe: Dealing with wannabes is a major theme of the film.
- The Gunslinger: Ringo is a Type D.
- In the Back
- Job Title
- Mis-blamed: In-universe, Ringo has been blamed for the deaths of people he'd never could have met.
- Quick Draw
- Retired Gunfighter: What Jimmy Ringo is trying to be.
- Retired Outlaw: The Gunfighter has two men who do this. One succeeds, the other fails. The one who succeeds becomes a town marshal.
- Revised Ending: In the original ending, Hunt Bromley was arrested by the sheriff, but studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck was enraged at this resolution, so Henry King and Nunnally Johnson rewrote the final scene.
- Right in Front of Me: Ringo discusses his reputation with a group of housewives, who don't realize who he is.
- Schoolmarm: The secret wife of the lead.
- Shrouded in Myth: Being "the fastest gun" is a terrible burden to bear.
- Young Gun: Hunt Bromley. Also a Glory Hound.