No Name on the Bullet (1959) is a English movie. Jack Arnold has directed this movie. Audie Murphy,Charles Drake,Joan Evans,Virginia Grey are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1959. No Name on the Bullet (1959) is considered one of the best Action,Drama,Romance,Western movie in India and around the world.
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...
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Audie Murphy (as John Gant) plays it real smooth here. He manipulates the whole town 'leading citizens' into thinking which one is the one he's after (that he's been hired to kill), and leaves them all feeling quite guilty over their past misdeeds. So guilty that the town banker commits suicide, and a couple of others start shooting one another without Gant ever having to lift a finger. This is one of the few times you'll see Murphy play a bad guy, although quite different from the unhinged character you'd later see him play in John Huston's THE UNFORGIVEN (1960). Nothing he did acting-wise, ever topped that one. Universal has released the widescreen Technicolor DVD of this and it's the best way to see it. No speckling and only a couple of brief frame blemishes. Sound is excellent, although the only extra is a trailer. Now if Universal will only see fit to release the following excellent Audiepix westerns on DVD, I'd be a happy man: SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN (1960) w. Barry Sullivan; RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO (1954) w. Dan Duryea; HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1960) w. Steven McNally; and RIDE A CROOKED TRAIL (1958) w. Walter Matthau So if you all liked NO NAME ON THE BULLET, then I bet you'll probably like the four I listed up above. They're all solid oaters. 7 out of 10
Movies like No Name on the Bullet uncover the depth of talent in Hollywood. The roles are filled almost exclusively by familiar faces with unfamiliar names - R. G. Armstrong, Willis Bouchey, Edgar Stehli - with the result that one can concentrate on the story characters rather than being distracted by "star presence". Without a top-heavy cast, the story itself also gains focus, and I think the story of No Name on the Bullet is fascinating. What happens when a notorious contract killer rides into town and...does absolutely nothing? The one star of the movie, Audie Murphy, plays the gunman. I love Murphy, one of Hollywood's misspent talents. Does this also apply to the the character actors I refer to above? Not really. Character players, though quite talented, rarely attain stardom - Edward G. Robinson, Claire Trevor and Claude Rains are notable exceptions - not through neglect or misuse but by some limitation of range or persona. Audie Murphy's talent was misspent because, though obvious, it was never developed, either by studios, who, myopically, only wanted to exploit his war hero status as a box office draw, or directors who, in Murphy's career, were usually "line directors," good for getting a movie in the can on time and on budget rather than for getting great performances out their players. Which brings me to director Jack Arnold, who does a journeyman's job, but who I believe is the cause for what another reviewer wrongheadedly calls Murphy's shortcomings. Stilted lines and studied movement are the results of "hands-off" direction. This is OK for the character parts, where skilled players in simple roles don't need much direction, but not for lead roles. Watching Murphy I'm reminded of another sadly underdeveloped star, Alan Ladd, whose talents always shone under a great director, but who didn't get those directors consistently enough, in my opinion, to fulfill his promise. Coincidentally, both Murphy and Ladd died prematurely. Perhaps not coincidentally, both had drinking problems. I wonder if they might have been experiencing similar frustrations. Since No Name on the Bullet contains complex secondary parts, it's fortunate, that the players cast for these parts are outstanding, so the characters are interesting. Unfortunately, the budget constraints force the runtime of the film to be far too short. The result is a number of unresolved character studies. I want to know more about the blacksmith, the ex-flame and the judge - and more about the gunfighter. I'd also like to see more denouement. The main plot ends too abruptly, as if the producers were saying, "That's all we can afford to give you, Folks." That said, I wouldn't call the ending dumb, again as the wrongheaded reviewer cited above asserts, just shortchanged. Returning to my opening thesis, that watching a cast of talented character players carry a movie is a special treat, I highly recommend this little gem of a Western.
Nowadays, finding a movie that's a Western is a work of art. Back in the 1950s it seems that every other movie was a Western and only the best have really stood the test of time. This film is original with an excellent plot brought to life with great location, splendidly explored characterisation and solid performances. As soon as Audie Murphy appears on screen, you know that he's no good as he scares the life out of 2 random strangers, just by asking them for directions. As he rides into the town, again, everyone stops and stares at him. It turns out that he's John Gant, contract killer whose M.O is to get his target into an argument. When the target pulls his gun, Gant shoots him in self-defence and can never be prosecuted. So who is Gant in town to kill? This is where the excellent characterisation comes in as you soon find yourself caring about individuals and their circumstances. What the director does well, is keep the audience guessing as to who Gant's target is. The natives become restless and start accusing each other of hiring Gant and many unnecessary squabbles, fights and even killings occur. Murphy maintains a laid back calmness throughout and is utterly believable in this role. I felt like I could see the inevitable conclusion coming a mile off, but was more than pleasantly surprised when this didn't happen. This is a cracking Western that works in just about every department and is surely one of Audie Murphy's best performances.
Audie Murphy had finally gotten a role where he could show his dark side. Picking up bits from Dan Duryea and Barry Sullivan's affable bad guys in previous films he had made with them, his John Gant is a smooth professional killer, an arbiter of fate, who in this film at least,seems to kill only those who truly deserve it. Cat calm and just as ruthless,he's afar cry from the baby face "Man gotta do what a man got to do" types he played in other Universal westerns. His real life prowess as the Hero lessened the suspense of those films, in this it brings a much needed tension; who can stop him? If he had played the good doctor and Charles Drake was the gunslinger everyone would know the resolution before the fadeout. Here, in a dark reversal of "Shane"'s ending, the fast gun rides out of the picture,his job completed,the hypocrisy and failings of the "good people" exposed,and the frontier is a little more civilized. This film,along with "The Red Badge of Courage,and the original "The Unforgiven" are the roles that showed that Mr. Murphy could've been a contender as an actual actor.
No Name on the Bullet is possibly Audie Murphy's best western. Only Destry is on a par with it. These two films demonstrate clearly that Murphy could give a creditable performance on the rare occasions when he was given a good script, cast, and director to work with. In this film Murphy plays John Gant, an apparently easy going man who, in fact, is a hired killer with a deadly reputation. When he comes to town many apparently-respectable citizens with concealed guilt become panicked, each thinking that he is the one whom Gant is in town to kill. If you think you don't like Audie Murphy westerns, give this one a try. It will probably surprise -- and impress -- you.