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GUN THE MAN DOWN (aka: ARIZONA MISSION) (director: Andrew V. McLaglen; screenwriters: Burt Kennedy/story by Sam Freedle; cinematographer: William Clothier; editor: A. Edward Sutherland; music: Henry Vars; cast: James Arness (Rem Anderson), Robert Wilke (Matt Rankin), Don Megowan (Ralph Farley), Angie Dickinson (Janice), Emile Meyer (Sheriff Morton), Michael Emmet (Billy Deal), Harry Carey Jr.(Deputy Lee); Runtime: 78; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert Morrison; MGM; 1956)
“The story is certainly not original.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The directorial debut of Andrew V. McLaglen(“The Rare Breed”/”The Ballad of Josie”/”Bandolero!”), the son of Victor, is not a particularly good one and the story is certainly not original. The low-budget film is shot in b/w. The script is by Burt Kennedy. The story is by Sam Freedle.

In 1880, Rem Anderson (James Arness, the future TV star of the popular Gunsmoke), Matt Rankin (Robert Wilke) and Ralph Farley (Don Megowan) rob a frontier town bank and get away with $40,000, but Rankin kills a guard and Rem is too wounded to travel. As Rem lies wounded in their cabin hide-out, the two outlaws force Rem’s saloon singer girlfriend, Janice (Angie Dickinson, film debut), to go with them. Rem’s arrested and serves some time in prison, vowing revenge on his cohorts who abandoned him. When released he tracks the two bandits and Jan to a border town in the Arizona Territory. Rankin is a saloon owner, Farley works in the saloon and Jan has become Rankin’s lover. The frightened Rankin hires for $5,000 local gunfighter Billy Deal (Michael Emmet) to kill Rem, but he dies in the gun duel. Sheriff Morton (Emile Meyer) calls it self-defense and does not arrest Rem. The trio thereafter flee town, but Rem tracks them down in a canyon and gets his revenge without being blood-thirsty.

REVIEWED ON 12/13/2014 GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”