Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Support Your Local Gunfighter

Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
Dir. Burt Kennedy
Starring: James Garner, Suzanne Pleshettet, Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Joan Blondell

Latigo Smith (Garner) arrives in the town of Purgatory in order to seek some medical help for an embarrassing affliction. But a case of mistaken identity draws him into a dispute between local businessmen in their fight for superiority.

After Support Your Local Sheriff was a success, it isn't that surprising that it got a follow-up. But what is surprising is that the movie that was made was not a traditional sequel, but a totally unrelated story that  features most of the same actors and behind the scenes crew. The most interesting thing about the movie is how it plays in relation to Support Your Local Sheriff. While both films have similar setups and story progressions, there are noticeable differences add to the films when watched back to back. The story is similar, James Garner's character comes to town and gets involved in some troubles in the town, but this film's Latigo Smith is more sleazy and less honorable than the previous film's Jason McCullough. But once again he comes to town, works for Harry Morgan's character, woos his daughter, and ultimately wins out in the end, but he also spends most of the movie scamming characters and taking advantage of the situation in the town. I did like that the story of the film was different, with his character having to deal with a dispute between two businessmen rather than the earlier plot of him dealing with a lawless town and one group of bad guys.

Overall a lot of what I said about the cast for the earlier film can still be said for this one as well, but the new additions to the cast aren't bad. I don't think that Suzanne Pleshettet was bad in this film, but her character was the most like the Prudy character from Sheriff, and part of me wishes that they would of changed it a bit more. She is good in the film, even though she doesn't have the same level of chemistry that Garner and Joan Hackett had. But really the one of the best things about this and the previous film is Jack Elam in his roles as Garner's sidekicks. He has one of the more fun roles in both films, and he is a big factor in why the films work like they do.

While I don't think that Support Your Local Gunfighter is as good as Support Your Local Sheriff, it is still a fun little film. If you only see one, make it Sheriff, but if you see it and like it, then definitely seek this one out. 

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