SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF was a comic masterpiece and cried out, at least in terms on dollars and cents, for a sequel. So they made one, only it wasn’t
Almost all of the cast from the SHERIFF appear in GUNFIGHTER but they all play completely different characters. Nothing is the same except that it takes place in the west and is funny, but not as funny as the original.
James Garner plays the role of Latigo Smith. He is a man on the run, not from the law but from a woman who expects to marry him. He goes to ground in Purgatory, a mining town. His arrival is noted by the owner of one of the town’s two competing mining companies. They think he is a gunfighter hired by the other company. He’s not but sees financial opportunity in the confusion. He passes himself off as the agent for the gunfighter (less danger and stress) and cons a down on his luck cowboy into playing the part of the gunfighter.
This is not a movie filled with excitement or drama. It is a comedy. It is not as funny as SHERIFF but it is funny in its own right.
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Amusing fluff from the makers of SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GUNFIGHTER isn’t quite as amusing or easy to warm up to.
Jack Elam steals the show as a roustabout drifter who con man James Garner convinces to impersonate legendary gunman Swifty Morgan. Veteran actors Henry Morgan and Dub Taylor seem to shout every line of dialogue, which doesn’t help things much. The uncredited Chuck Connors, another scene stealer playing the real Swifty, shows up in the last ten minutes to bring things to a calamitous conclusion.
I think introducing the Connors’ character a half-dozen scenes or so earlier would have helped things immensely. SHERIFF worked so well because there were easily identifiable Good and Bad Guys, and a lot of the laughs came from lampooning Walter Brennan and his brood.
Even so, GUNFIGHTER made me laugh, which is what I got it for. A good movie, if not quite as good as its predecessor.
I don’t think James Garner ever made a bad movie. This is an excellent comedy western. You won’t be disappointed.