MovieChat Forums > The Gunfighter (1950) Discussion > Otherwise fine film... (*spoiler*)

Otherwise fine film... (*spoiler*)


...weakened by a hokey and anti-climactic ending. This film should have ended with the death of Ringo. Audiences are smart enough to know what's going to be the fate of the gunnie that shot him in the back - they don't need it explained to them by the Sheriff. And the funeral scene with the cliched final shot of Ringo riding off into the sunset was totally unnecessary.

"I've been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" - Elwood P. Dowd

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Are you sure it was Ringo who rode off into the sunset? Was it not the person thatshot him? Thats what u thought anyway!

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It may be "cliched" today, but the ending was only hokey by today's standards. It had to become cliched somehow - like by being the end of a movie like this. It was probably a lot more original in 1950.

I thought it was a great film other than Gregory Peck's "death" scene. Now that was hokey.

That is just so fetch!

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You may have a point, but wasn't the "last roundup" idea in common usage long before this film was made?

Anyway, I still maintain that this film was made weaker by continuing it after the story had been told and the point made.

"I've been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" - Elwood P. Dowd

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Surely the funeral scene is a vital part of the story,The whole basis of the film is that Jimmy Ringo wants to retire with,and to some degree,be accepted by, his wife and son.By showing that she at last lets every one know that she is the wife of Jimmy Ringo,is this not what he achieves,albeit in death.

By the way,personally i've always felt the man riding away at the end was Hunt Bromley--bringing the movie to a natural,well rounded conclusion,after it began with Jimmy Ringo riding in at the beginning.

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I thought the final shot of the horseman riding off into the sunset was symbolic of Ringo shedding the shackles of his reputation in death.

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Excellent post, jimmy-ringo.

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I think it is being symbolic although could quite easily be interpreted as the killer leaving.

In an elaborate twist his death and funeral service would be a hoax and the lone rider is jimmy ringo free of his name to start again.

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I like the twist of Ringo faking his death. It WAS overplayed, he was covered up immediately and the casket was closed at the funeral...makes me hopeful.

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I like the twist of Ringo faking his death. It WAS overplayed, he was covered up immediately and the casket was closed at the funeral...makes me hopeful.

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This is going to sound ultra-corny, but I thought the last shot was of Ringo, and the sight of him riding uphill, toward the clouds, with "Rock of Ages" playing triumphantly on the soundtrack, was meant to symbolize Ringo's redemption and ascension into Heaven.

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Well i'm replying to a three year old thread just to call the OP a flippin idiot. You obviously weren't paying attention to the story because the person riding off into the sunset isn't Ringo. It's his killer who is now going to be hunted down by every up jump squirt in the territory. How you do not understand that kind of boggles my mind. After watching THE GUNFIGHTER I have to say it's one of the best Western films ever made if not the best.

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You may be right; as you pointed out, it's been a few years since I saw that film, so I really can't recall the details (plus I have a tendency to multitask when I watch TV). I'll have to look at the ending again and see if your interpretation is the correct one.

By the way, please don't call me a "flippin idiot" just because my interpretation of the ending of the film differs from yours. Last time I checked, I was human, which means I'm entitled to make a mistake now and then.

"I've been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" - Elwood P. Dowd

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um, no. i would have defended you, but think about it. you 'multitasked' while watching the movie, then came online to gripe about it... you overlooked some major features, features which became the seeds of your criticism, due to your extracurricular activity. message boards invite responses. people responded to your foul-up, and you came back to defend yourself. THERE is the idiocy... just like the blowhard gunslinging kids, there is no correct response for ya - yer lookin fer trouble. now you best mosey back on outta here son.

the ending of the movie is hokey, yet a great loop to have the killer ride off and join the mystic cavalcade of gunfighters that he's just joined... same vista, same shots as Peck at the beginning... it's the film version of "Highwaymen", the Cash-Nelson-Kristofferson-Jennings tune.

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Last time I checked, I was human, which means I'm apt to make a mistake from time to time. I acknowledged that I might have been in error in my interpretation of the ending, but then merely asked for a little common courtesy, which, I believe, I'm entitled to. Where's the idiocy in that?

"I've been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" - Elwood P. Dowd

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Don't back down now, netstvdvs; I still think your interpretation was correct. Why would a movie centering around Jimmy Ringo end with a heroic shot of pathetic squirt Hunt Bromley? Who cares about that cowardly sack of [beep]? That would be like ending a Superman movie with a shot of Jimmy Olson delivering interoffice mail! The haters on this page have offered nothing but trash talk in their defense, so I'm sticking to the as-yet-non-discounted theory that the character in the final shot is Jimmy Ringo. Stick to your guns (so to speak), netsvdvs!

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VINDICATION! VALIDATION! THANK YOU!

"I've been smart; I recommend pleasant. You can quote me" - Elwood P. Dowd

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You obviously don't understand it. The Marshal at the end orders Hunt to leave Cayenne and "get killed somewhere else”. It's one of the first anti-western films why would they end the movie with such a cliche shot of Ringo going off into the sunset?

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It wasn't a cliche shot in 1950. Several movies from the WWII to post-WWII era end with shots of characters proceeding to the afterlife. Who can forget the final shot in The Fighting Sullivans, when the five brothers wave to the camera before advancing to their eternal reward? Or the elevator punchline in Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait?

Before I digress, let's recap: the penultimate scene is Ringo's funeral, where the congregation sings "Rock of Ages." Then we dissolve to the ethereal final shot of Ringo, riding uphill into the sunset, while the hymn continues to play. So I guess you're right saijax: I "obviously don't understand" why a church hymn is an appropriate soundtrack choice for a movie ending with, in your interpretation, Hunt Bromley's fleeing for his life.

Any thoughts?

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On the one hand, you're right, and the ending with Peck dying would have been "enough." But on the other hand, watching Mark Strett kick the *beep* out of Hunt Bramley is one of the most satisfying scenes I've seen in a movie.

What's the Spanish for drunken bum?

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Back in that time, the IDEA of killing Gregory peck in a movie was pretty shocking. :D (He was killed in Duel in the Sun before, but there he was the bad boy.)



Starry Vere, God bless you!

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If you look at the body shape and how he rides on the horse you can tell it's Peck. Bromley is a lot ganglier. I agree that the juxtaposition of Peck entering and his killer leaving to take his place is a great idea but I think ultimately it's Peck riding into the afterlife. I think as previously posted they wouldn't have had Bromley riding out during Peck's redemptive score....and yes, the scene where Mark (Sheriff) kicks the crap out of Bromley is fantasticly delivered. I'm posting this just after watching it on FMC and as I type it ended and The Bravados is beginning right after it. This is going to be a good Sunday on TV!

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It's a tough call I do think it would be Ringo riding off into the after life.

Col. G. Stonehill: Most people around here have heard of Rooster Cogburn.

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Just saw the film today for the first time. There is no question in my mind it's Ringo riding off. It suits the style of the film and the symbolism is apropos. Bromley got his ending with a boot to the face in the barn. Doesn't make any sense, to me, to then show him riding tall in the saddle in to the sunset. What a great film, huh?

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Uh, Ringo died. That was really obvious. The image of him riding off into the sunset is just dramatic license, showing that his spirit still lives on for his woman and child, and that his legend will continue.

Not everything in cinema is literal. And, any director worth his salt knows the importance of being able to use cinema to create visual illustrations like we saw here.

And, the marshal telling the young gun what waits for him is what gave the ending punch. Don't kill him or hang him. The other young guns out there will take care of that just fine.

This film was actually one of the first revisionist westerns, where the days of obvious good guys and bad guys was erased forever.

I. Drink. Your. Milkshake! [slurp!] I DRINK IT UP! - Daniel Plainview - There Will Be Blood

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