Townsfolk know a gunmans going to kill someone but they dont know who it will be. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 05/23/2006 Starring: Audie Murphy Joan Evans Run time: 77 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Jack... more » Arnold« less
"As others reviewers have noted, 1959's "No Name on the Bullet" is far from being a typical Audie Murphy western. Under Jack Arnold's expert direction, the focus here is on suspense and tension, rather than action. When gunman John Gant rides into town, most of the local citizens are justifiably nervous. Gant is a hired killer, and he seldom visits a town just to see the sights. Much of the film revolves around the questions--why is he here ? Who is he after ? Which of the town's citizens will die ? Since Gant isn't the talkative type, the suspense keeps building, not to mention the nervous paranoia of the townfolk.As Gant, Murphy delivers a chilling performance. You never doubt that, behind that baby face and modest build, is a man not to be crossed ( by all accounts, in real life, as well as in movies ). He is not intimidated by anyone, not even a hostile crowd who thinks that, by sheer numbers, it can scare him away. As the town's doctor who tries to befriend Gant, Charles Drake delivers a strong performance as he comes to realize that he cannot distract the killer from his purpose.
Other fine supporting actors further add to the quality of the film--Whit Bissell, Karl Swenson, Warren Stevens and Virginia Grey. Apart from one climactic scene with Mr. Murphy, leading lady, Joan Evans ( not to be confused with the popular comedienne ), has little to do but make coffee for her "man", Charles Drake.I found the ending to be memorable, and--for those of you who like action--there is gunplay at certain crucial parts of the movie.The DVD has beautiful colour, is widescreen and mono sound. The only extra is the original trailer.Audie Murphy made a lot of westerns in the 1950s and 60s. "No Name on the Bullet" is not the most action-packed, but it is certainly one of the most interesting, and features one of his best perfomances. If he is not yet represented in your western DVD collection, this is an excellent title to start with."
An Unusual Western, Audie Murphy's Best
Evangeline | Flint Hills | 04/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audie Murphy gives one of his best performances as John Gant, the hired assassin, whose arrival in town pricks a lot of guilty consciences. No one is absolutely certain who he came to kill, but that doesn't stop a few restless townspeople from getting nervous and cracking under the pressure as Gant plays it cool and bides his time. He seems unsurprised by the effect his presence has in town. As Gant eloquently puts it, he doesn't have to deliver a bullet to those types of men because "they are already dead," suffocated by the weight of guilt caused by past sins. Gants kills only who he is paid to kill, and only time will tell who he has really come for.But there's more to this cold-blooded avenger than meets the eye. Or so thinks Luke, the town's likeable physician, who is a paragon of civic and moral virtue. Juxtapposed against each other, the two seem to be exact opposites, but a sort of friendship develops as Luke tries desperately to get into Gant's head and somehow turn him around before he does what he came to do. No Name on the Bullet explores many interesting issues such as vengeance, justice, law and the burden of sin. Audie Murphy reveals his darker side as he plays the self-named "avenging angel." He even tries to compares himself to his new friend Luke because in his mind, he too is concerned with eliminating "public health problems," namely those who are guilty but unpunished. Just like Murphy himself, there's more to this film than meets the eye. And the plot takes a surprising turn at the end, too, so it's altogether unpredictable. As evidenced by another great performance in To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy was certainly a great soldier on screen and off. Although he was the most decorated soldier of World War II, like many other greats of his day (John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart) Murphy probably felt he was just doing his duty. There are those who think this may be just another Audie Murphy western, but this is not true at all. It's a stellar film that stands alone in its brilliant performances and handling of the fallen human condition."
Don't miss this outstanding western.
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 06/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier of World War II. After the war he got involved with movies -- predominantly westerns. Frankly, his films are highly variable in quality. Some are pretty bad B movies. But given a good script, good direction, and good supporting actors, Murphy turned in several surprisingly fine performances. No Name on the Bullet is a case in point. Murphy convincingly plays John Gant -- a cool, deceptively-likeable hired killer with a reputation for goading his intended victim into attempting to draw first so that Gant can always get off by claiming self defence. This movie is a study of the effect of Gant's arrival in a town on it's citizens. While Gant quietly drinks coffee in the hotel bar or plays chess with the local doctor, the town's leading citizens go to pieces because their secret guilts convince each of them that he is Gant's target. The finale of this tense psychological drama is surprising but not contrived. This is a very good western by any standard and probably Audie Murphy's best. I hope its availability on DVD will find it the wide audience which it richly deserves."
A splendid performance by Murphy!!!
Jeff Smith | Hot Springs Village, Arkansas United States | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone always talks about Audie Murphy's baby face and his slight build. But take a close look at his eyes. He was a cold-eyed individual, brought about largely by his 2 years in combat and subsequently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. If he had been born during the Old West times, he would have been a killer. "No Name on the Bullet" personifies Murphy's personality had he lived during those times.Murphy gives a splendid performance as John Gant, a hired killer whose presence in Lordsburg causes total chaos, even though he does nothing at first - just sitting around drinking coffee and playing chess with the local physician.Murphy's facial expressions were great as he smugly looked around and watched the carnage his name and reputation created. The banker winds up killing himself (even though he wasn't Murphy's target), and another man in town tries to get drunk enough to have the courage to face Gant, who stares him down and sends him fleeing from the bar.This was probably Murphy's finest performance outside of "To Hell and Back," when he was not really acting but working on raw emotion, adrenaline and painful memories of the war.Even when the town bands together and comes to make him leave, Gant remains cold as ice and backs them down. He knew they could kill him, but the question was "How many could Gant kill before they killed him?" None of them were willing to die to get rid of Gant.Charles Drake also delivered a great performance as the physician opposite Murphy's character. While the entire town was in panic and chaos, wondering who Gant had come for, Drake calmly plays a game of chess with the gunman, trying to get inside his head and figure out what "makes him tick."A suspenseful thriller with a minimum amount of violence, "No Name on the Bullet" comes highly recommended."
An edgy performance from an underrated talent, Audie Murphy
Jeff Smith | 07/14/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very watchable Western featuring Audie Murphy and co-starring Charles Drake (Audie's co-star in "To Hell and Back"). If this film had been made ten years later, it would have been a good vehicle for Clint Eastwood. Audie Murphy plays a Western "hit man" who is famous for killing his prey not by out-and-out murder, but through self-defense or other means. Charles Drake plays the town doctor who becomes friendly with Audie, despite his personal feelings about Audie's quest.I was pleasantly surprised to find that Universal has released this on video - hopefully, they'll release some more. If you like Westerns, see this film - if you're not familiar with Audie Murphy's work or have heard less than flattering things about his acting, you will be pleasantly surprised!"