Wichita (1955): Jacques Tourneur’s Western, Starring Joel McCrea as Wyatt Earp and Vera Miles

Jacques Tourneur, best known for film noirs, directed Wichita, a Western shot in CinemaScope Technicolor, starring Joel McCrea as Wyatt Earp.

Our Grade: B (***1/2 out of *****)

Wichita poster.jpg

The supporting cast features Vera Miles, Lloyd Bridges, Edgar Buchanan, Peter Graves, Jack Elam and Mae Clarke.

Vera Miles had been Miss Kansas in 1948 and was third runner up in the Miss America pageant.

McCrea plays former hunter and entrepreneur Wyatt Earp, who arrives in the lawless cattle town of Wichita, Kansas. His skills make him a perfect candidate for marshal but he refuses the job until he feels morally obligated to bring law and order to this town.

In conflict with his sponsors, he decides to take away the guns of everyone in town, no matter how important.

However, when town banker Sam McCoy (Walter Coy) is hit with a personal tragedy, Earp’s no-guns edict begin to make sense.

Joel McCrea as Wyatt Earp
Vera Miles as Laurie McCoy
Lloyd Bridges as Gyp Clements
Wallace Ford as Arthur Whiteside
Edgar Buchanan as Doc Black
Peter Graves as Morgan Earp
Keith Larsen as Bat Masterson
Carl Benton Reid as Mayor Andrew Hoke
John Smith as Jim Earp
Walter Coy as Sam McCoy
Robert J. Wilke as Ben Thompson (as Robert Wilke)
Jack Elam as Al
Mae Clarke as Mrs. McCoy
Walter Sande as Clint Wallace


Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Produced by Walter Mirisch and Victor Heerman
Screenplay by Daniel B. Ullman, based on his story
Music by Hans J. Salter
Cinematography Harold Lipstein
Edited by William Austin

Produced and released by Allied Artists Pictures

Release date: July 3, 1955

Running time: 81 minutes
Box office $2.4 million


TCM showed this Western on March 18, 2020.