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Gunsight Ridge (1957)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Crime | September 1957 (USA)
Stage line agent investigates a series of robberies by taking the job of a deputy sheriff in a border Arizona town.


Francis D. Lyon


Talbot Jennings (written for the screen by), Elisabeth Jennings (written for the screen by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McCrea ... Mike Ryan
Mark Stevens ... Velvet Clark
Joan Weldon ... Molly Jones
Addison Richards ... Sheriff Tom Jones
Darlene Fields Darlene Fields ... Rosa
Carolyn Craig ... Farm Girl
Robert Griffin ... Herb Babcock
I. Stanford Jolley ... Billy Daggett (as Stanford Jolley)
George Chandler ... Gus Withers
Slim Pickens ... Hank Moss
Herb Vigran ... R.B. Davis - Justice of the Peace
Kitty Kelly ... Mrs. Donahue
Jody McCrea ... Groom
Cynthia Chenault ... Bride (as Cindy Robbins)
L.Q. Jones ... Lazy Heart Ranc Hhand


The latest of a series of stagecoach holdups in the Arizona Territory takes place on a stagecoach in which Mike Ryan, undercover agent for the stage line, and Molly Jones, daughter of the local sheriff, are passengers. The bandana masking one of the robbers slips and he is killed by the gang-leader Velvet Clark. The latter masquerades as a respectable piano-playing citizen of the community. The townspeople are aroused enough over the continued robberies that they ask Sheriff Tom Jones to resign but they agree to give him more time when he takes on Ryan as a deputy. Circumstantial evidence leads the sheriff to Clark, but the latter kills him and escapes. Ryan tracks him to Gunsight Ridge where there is a showdown gunfight. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stranger at Soldiers' Springs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Libra Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the final scene where McRae is talking to the girl you can see a car drive by in the background. See more »


[before he can see who he's shooting at, Velvet fires a round at Mike]
Mike Ryan: You're as touchy as a girl.
Velvet Clark: Always ready for company.
Mike Ryan: You don't encourage any.
See more »


Gunsight Ridge
Performed by Dean Jones
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User Reviews

Only One Would Leave Gunsight Ridge Alive!
20 July 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Gunsight Ridge is directed by Francis Lyon and written by Talbot and Elisabeth Jennings. It stars Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens, Joan Weldon, Addison Richards, Darlene Fields and Carolyn Craig. Music is by David Raksin (title tune sung by Dean Jones) and cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.

McCrea plays Mike Ryan, an undercover Stage Line agent who while investigating a series of robberies takes the job of a deputy Sheriff in a border Arizona town.

Gunsight Ridge is a neat little Western, better than most of its black and white type because it rises above its formulaic story to reveal interesting characters and good strands of plotting. In the mix is the detective work as Ryan hunts stagecoach robber Velvet Clark (Stevens) whilst also enforcing law in the town. There's a gang of ruffians on the outskirts of town known as The Lazy Heart Boys, who offer a side-bar of criminal activity, while Ryan and the Sheriff's daughter (Weldon) start to build an attraction. There's cold blooded murder on show, a rampaging stagecoach sequence through the rocky terrain and a finale up in them thar rocks that satisfies greatly. It is also a film that looks and sounds terrific. Raksin's score is full of thunder and sorrow, while Laszlo's moody photography is atmospherically noirish.

It's the characterisation of Velvet Clark that is the trump card though. He is shown to be a ruthless killer and thief, yet he also has a sympathetic edge. He is given some depth by the writers, shown to be a frustrated pianist, he's tortured by his artistic leanings and how he has ended up on the wrong side of the law. With McCrea doing another in his line of straight backed and stoic man of the people turns, the dual aspect of good and bad characters works beautifully. There's other little character moments of worth as well, such as Carolyn Craig playing a young farm girl romanticising herself with the outlaw Clark, and old Sheriff Jones (Richards) obsessed with catching the robber because he doesn't want his perfect record blemished.

Comfortably recommended to fans of 1950s "B" Westerns. 7/10

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