Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)
Mixed-race gunfighter, Yul Brynner, is hired by a morally dubious town to hunt and kill a confederate war veteran (George Segal) accused of murder.
A western which is surprisingly lacking in terms of action sequences but heavy on dialogue and dramatic intrigue. The film is best described as a drama set against a western backdrop. Brynner gives a gifted performance as the gunfighter of the title; Pat Hingle is stunning as the pragmatic and heartless town-leader but unfortunately, George Segal is under-utilised as the “bad guy”.
The movie starts off very well with a great opening sequence and some impressive cinematography of a dark, isolated and corrupt western town. However, the film doesn’t really deliver and suffers from a tedious focus on Brynner’s rationale for gunfighting with too little attention paid to the underlying plot and development of the film’s supporting characters. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable movie for western fans although it won’t convert anyone whose ambivalent towards the genre.
Overall, a picture with much promise which sadly relies too heavily on Brynner’s great performance to carry it through with flying colours.
hotdog rating: 6/10