Oscar Movies: Gunfighter, The (1950)

Considered to be one of the first mature ("psychological") Westerns in the post-WWII era, Henry Koster's The Gunfighter features Gregory Peck in top form, as an aging, over the hill gunslinger, who wants to lay down his gun but may be doomed.
The movie was deservedly nominated for its Motion Picture Story by William Bowers and Andre de Toth. Preceding Fred Zinnemann's the similarly-themed "High Noon" (starring Gary Cooper), "The Gunfighter" is a more compelling, less schematic Western, with striking, hgigh-contrast visuals by ace lenser Arthur Miller, and moody score by Alfred Newman.
At his most handsome, Gregeoy Peck plays Johnny Ringo, a notorious killer who arrives in his town in order to settle down, or more specifically rekindle a strained relationship with the wife and boy he had selfishly abandoned. Nonetheless, the townsfolk see him as a threat to the status quo.
Ringo is in a no-win situation: While the youngsters, represented by Eddie (Richard Jaeckel, excellent as a two-bit punk), want to challenge him to fight to take his crown off from him, the older law-abiding citizens want to kick him out of town.
Oscar Alert
Oscar Nominations: 1
Motion Picture Story: William Bowers and Andre de Toth
Oscar Context
The Story Oscar went to the husband and wife team, Edna and Edward Anhalt, for "Panic in the Street," directed by Kazan. The other nominees were Italian Giuseppe De Santis and Carlo Lizzani for the neo-realist film "Bitter Rice," Sy Gomberg for "When Willie Comes Marching Home," and Leonard Spiegelgass for "Mystery Street."
Johnny Ringo (Gregory Peck)
Peggy Walsh (Helen Westcott)
Sheriff Mark Strett (Millard Mitchell)
Charlie (Anthony Ross)
Eddie (Richard Jaeckel)
Mrs. Pennyfeather (Verna Felton)
Mrs. Devlin (Ellen Corby)