Tuesday, January 05, 2016

It's Not About Quick Guns, Except When it Is

The Quick Gun is an older Western about a gunman returning home after two years to find a town not too happy at his return, but is going to need him to fend off a gang of outlaws he's familiar with.

Nothing groundbreaking there. The townsfolk drive me nuts (Gene Wilder's observation about the townsfolk in Blazing Saddles was on the money). Clint left town after he killed two sons of this guy Rick Morrison. You could understand people not being glad he returned. Except Morrison sent his sons to kill Clint originally, because he had plans to be the big ranch king in the area, and Clint's family's was in the way. So Clint acted in self-defense. This is apparently so well-known around town that Morrison feels comfortable openly admitting it in broad daylight, in a bar full of people, when he and his nephew are trying to goad Clint into drawing his gun so they can kill him, and Clint is very publicly refusing to play along.

Why the hell are people giving Clint a hard time? Morrison doesn't seem like a popular guy, and people don't seem intimidated by him (he's kind of a fat moron). My dad thought it was because Clint just took off without sticking around to sort things out, while I could see it being because they know Morrison's going to do something and they don't want violence. But again, if that's the case, take it to Morrison, since he's the one planning to start shit.

Not that this is new. Townspeople in Westerns are constantly behaving in stupid ways that irritate me. Clint does convince his old friend the sheriff that there's a gang coming to rob the bank, and the sheriff gets the town mobilized, sets up barricades along the trails into town and everything. Then, just before the shooting starts, the reverend decides it's time to plead to give peace a chance, and the sheriff walks out alone to ask the outlaws to turn back. And gets shot. Which the film telegraphed when the sheriff tells Clint he's broken off his engagement with the girl they both loved, because she's still in love with Clint. This after Clint tried giving them his family ranch as a wedding present. Just dovetails too nicely for the returning potential hero.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Ah... the common clay of the old west.

Yes, the average townsfolk are indeed morons.