Death of a Gunfighter (1969): Western Starring Richard Widmark and Lena Horne

Richard Widmark plays Frank Patch, the town marshal who’s in conflict with the council. Fearing that investors might stop their proposed cash flow into town, the council plans to oust the lawman.

Frank befriends the town’s madame, Claire, played by Lena Horne, who delivers the tune “Sweet Apple Wine” during the opening and closing credits.  Sheriff Lou Trinidad (John Saxon) is Frank’s only friend in town besides Claire.

Lester Locke (Carroll O’Conner) is the saloon owner who gives the marshal hard time.  When Frank refuses to resign, the council devises ways to force his departure, even if it means demise.  After some killings by the law-abiding marshal, the council breaks the law to insure the influx of money into their dying town.

In this rather conventional Western, the task of instruction falls into the aging unwanted sheriff, who dies at the hands of the anti-Semitic, anti-Mexican employers.

Running time: 94 minutes

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