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The Master Gunfighter (1975)

An outnumbered swordsman/gunfighter tries to prevent wealthy landowners from annihilating local Indians.


Tom Laughlin (as Frank Laughlin)


Tom Laughlin (as Harold Lapland)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Tom Laughlin ... Finley
Ron O'Neal ... Paulo
Lincoln Kilpatrick ... Jacques
Geo Anne Sosa Geo Anne Sosa ... Chorika
Barbara Carrera ... Eula
Victor Campos Victor Campos ... Maltese
Hector Elias ... Juan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Andronica James Andronica ... Abel
Richard Angarola ... Don Santiago
David S. Cass Sr. David S. Cass Sr. ... McDonald
Patti Clifton Patti Clifton
Doug Jinks Doug Jinks ... Cowboy ruffian
Mike Lane ... Frewen
Burgess Meredith ... Narrator (voice)
Carmencristina Moreno Carmencristina Moreno


An outnumbered swordsman/gunfighter tries to prevent wealthy landowners from annihilating local Indians.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Fought Like an Army, and Lived Like a Legend.


Drama | Western


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pistolero See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Sur, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Billy Jack Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film begins with the words "Billy Jack Rights Presents" appearing on the screen. This relates to Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor's production company, Billy Jack Enterprises. After the prologue narration, it is followed two minutes later by "Billy Jack Enterprises Presents", which starts the opening credits. Neither means this film is in the "Billy Jack" series of movies. See more »


Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Very under-rated Western/Samurai masterpiece from the Laughlin Family.
3 June 2005 | by wrathchild1387See all my reviews

Great music score,great scenery,interesting camera angles,good atmosphere(especially during the showdown moments),good to decent acting and gun/sword fighting and awesome cinematography. Whatelse can I say about the 'Master Gunfighter', it is a very entertaining Hybrid/Anti-western movie only Tom Laughlin and the crew could bring. Sure some of the movie elements could have been better like some of the editing (which wasn't that bad but could've been better) and some parts from the novelization of the movie should have been in the movie to explain some scenes better but all in all it is a really entertaining blend of Spaghetti western,samurai, and Tom Laughlin.

The story revolves around Finely (Tom Laughlin, one of the coolest figures in motion picture history) a guilt tripped gunfighter and swordsman who witnessed a massacre of a peaceful coastal Native Americans by his brother-in-law and lifetime friend Don Paulo (Ron O'Neil, thats right Priest from 'Superfly') and his goons. Finely leaves but returns three years later when Paulo plains to do it again. This is where the gun play and samurai sword comes into play. Both Laughlin and O'Neil have a six chambered, double action pistol almost like a LeMot and a Samurai sword.

A lot of critics and people complain about the peace through violence or redemption through revenge method but "To expect peace, prepare for war"-(Tom Jane,THE PUNISHER). Either that or they complained that it is too much like Billy Jack or not enough like Billy Jack, this movie was never meant to be a 'Billy Jack' movie.

But I would suggest renting or borrowing the DVD, watch the movie and the special features to learn about the movie even more, it is actually quite interesting when I watch the interviews with the cast and crew. But if you are a western,samurai,Tom Laughlin, or just a 70s cinema fan then you should pretty much buy the movie. But everyone has their own opinions so I would say rent before buy.

The story was adapted from an 1969 samurai flick called 'Goyokin' and this movie alone was only made on a budget 3.5 million of the Laughlins' own money and it is better than most movie with 10 times it budget.

I also recommend 'Red Sun' or the legendary TV series 'Kung Fu'.

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