"Rock Hudson, Donna Reed, Phil Carey, and Leo Gordon are part of a fairly enjoyable Western directed by the great action director Raoul Walsh.
Gun Fury involves characters mixed up a stagecoach robbery. The stagecoach, carrying impending married couple Hudson and Reed, are ambushed by a gang of ex-Confederate rebels led by Carey and Gordon, including gang members Neville Brand and Lee Marvin. Hudson is left for dead, and Carey, who appreciates the beauty of fellow Southerner Reed, takes her with him. When Gordon objects, Carey and the gang rough Gordon up, leaving him for dead.
Hudson recovers and goes after his fiancee, and when he runs across Gordon, they reluctantly team up to go after Carey. They don't get much help along the way, except for an Indian who also has a socre to settle with Carey.
Walsh knows what he's doing, and the action sequences are first rate. It's hard to know at times if Hudson is doing a bad job of acting, or if he's nailing his character, who is a former soldier who has vowed never to wear a gun or kill again. His character seems awkward and reluctant even though he's full of hatred and vengeance toward Carey. Whatever the reason, it works, and the rest of the cast do a fine job. Gun Fury is a solid film and not an embarassment to the Western genre."
Be prepared for a rough ride...
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 11/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Gun Fury" is a little colorful Western that was originally shown in 3-D... The film shows outdoor scenes, set against spectacular Arizona scenery...
Walsh introduced his main characters quickly:
Ben (Rock Hudson) is a California-bound settler interested only in the future... He spent five years fighting somebody else's quarrel... The woman he intends to marry is meeting him in Haynesville...They will go on to his place from there...
Jennifer Ballard (Donna Reed) has never been so happy... She just can't believe that she is really with Ben... She has waited for him so long...
Frank Slayton (Phil Carey) is a ruthless 'Southern gentleman' who fought the war and saw 'his' world die...For him, Jennifer brought back things he hadn't thought of in years: Richmond, the ladies in fancy dresses, garden parties, dances...
Jess (Leo Gordon) was not trying to run things... But he refused to let Slayton drag Miss Ballard along...
Walsh's direction was simple, direct and muscular, wary of self-consciously picturesque or poetic camera angles... Always a popular entertainer he was one of the more able, resilient and versatile Hollywood directors...
Frantic, undemanding but a bit flat
Gary Cross | Auckland New Zealand | 01/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is your typical Saturday afternoon fifties western. Lots of gun play, lots of horse chases and a frenzied music score that seems to play throughout the entire movie. Rock Hudson is the ex-soldier who has turned his back on the ways of violence, but is forced to strap on his sidearms once more when his fiancee (Donna Reed) is kidnapped by villainous Phil Carey (who does a nice turn as a southern gent gone bad). The movie strays into High Noon territory as Hudson vainly tries to enlist aid to get his wife back, but only ex-outlaw Leo Gordon and an Indian whose sister was killed by the outlaws side up with him for the show-down. There's a lot of potential here (stunning New Mexico scenery, an ace action director and a great ensemble of villains, including Lee Marvin, Neville Brand and Leo Gordon). But strangely, it doesn't quite click into a satisfying whole. The villains (Carey included) put up a shocking fight in the final gunfight, so it comes across as more of a turkey shoot. The fractic pace dilutes the film of any tension - the dialogue has some great one-liners but often that's all a scene has time for before racing off to the next horse chase or gun battle. And Hudson, despite being top-billed, plays second string to the conflict between Gordon and Carey, so that when we get to the scene where he's been pushed too far, there's no sense of drama or that thrill you get when the good guy has had enough and sets off to blow the heck out of the baddies. Still, there's plenty worse out there - and if you're a western fan, it's an ok example of the undemanding fare that was being turned out in the fifties."
"White Heat Goes West"
M. Hencke | New York, NY United States | 09/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Exciting and well made western from acclaimed action director Raoul Walsh. It stars Rock Hudson and Donna Reed (looking beautfiul as ever). A tight pace and thrilling cinematography (the film was shown in 3-D originally)set this film apart from many westerns made at this time. It would make a terrfic double feature with Anthony Mann's "The Naked Spur". This film is a must see for western fans."
Fast-Paced Western from veteran action director, does not qu
James Simpson | USA | 10/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Raoul Walsh's "Gun Fury(1953)" is a quickly paced and enjoyable Western from the genre's golden age. At this point, the genre had matured quite a bit and were now much more layered and psychological. Many, like this one, provided plenty of Action but still had a deeper story to tell.
This film tells the story of a young rancher(Rock Hudson) who plans to marry a southern belle(Donna Reed) and move her to his ranch in the West. Along the way, she is captured by a bandit who holds a deep bitterness that he still carries from the South's defeat in the Civil War. Hudson goes after him and his gang, aided only by a former member(Leo Gordon) and a mysterious Indian with a vendetta on the southerner.
The back of the DVD claims that this film is like "White Heat in the West!", but does not quite capture the excitement of that Gangster classic. Part of the problem is the film's half cocked resolution. The film carries alot of complex themes including the corruption of the soul through extreme conditions, the effect of War and defeatism and ultimately, the right to kill another. Everything begins well but ultimately goes nowhere. Hudson simply corners his man at the conclusion, while the villian is offed suddenly and as soon as Hudson goes to embrace Reed, the film concludes. This is a shame because had the film taken more time to build on the puschological aspects of the situation, this film could have been as interesting as those contemporary Anthony Mann Westerns with James Stewart, but it does not fully achieve this. What it becomes, is just a mildly enjoyable afternoon feature.
The film originally was shot in 3-D, so several scenes feature seemingly pointless segments with people and things lunging at the screen. This can be somewhat distracting but it makes the film still interesting and reflective of the time.