Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969): Burt Kennedy’s Comedy Western, Starring James Garner

Burt Kennedy directed Support Your Local Sheriff!, a light, contrived self-conscious comedy Western, starring James Garner, Joan Hackett, and Walter Brennan.

Support Your Local Sheriff!
Poster of the movie Support Your Local Sheriff!.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The supporting cast features Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Bruce Dern and Chubby Johnson.

The picture was produced by William Bowers (who also wrote the screenplay) and Bill Finnegan.

The film parodies the iconic story of the western hero who tames a lawless frontier town.

Its title derives from a popular 1960s campaign slogan “Support Your Local Police.”

The town of Calendar, Colorado, springs up almost overnight when clumsy, hotheaded Prudy Perkins (Joan Hackett) notices gold in a freshly dug grave during a funeral.

Her father Olly (Harry Morgan), who becomes mayor, and the other members of the council (Henry Jones, Walter Burke) bemoan the town’s descent into chaos and corruption. They are tired of the tolls exacted on their gold shipments by the Danbys, a family of near-outlaws who control the only shipping route out of town.

In this lawless town, which has no sheriff, people are busy prospecting, and the few who have occupied the position have been run out of town or killed.

Jason McCullough (Garner), a confident and skillful gunfighter, says he is only passing through town on his way to Australia. But when he sees Joe Danby (Bruce Fern) shoot a man in the saloon, he decides to essay the job of sheriff by impressing the mayor and council with his marksmanship.

Credits:

Directed by Burt Kennedy
Produced by William Bowers, Bill Finnegan
Written by William Bowers
Starring James Garner
Music by Jeff Alexander
Cinematography Harry Stradling Jr.
Edited by George W. Brooks
Distributed by United Artists

Release date: March 26, 1969

Running time: 92 minutes