Last Train from Gun Hill is an odd Western to watch. Mainly because it’s an unrelenting revenge tale that refuses to try and humanize anything. Kirk Douglas’s wife is raped and murdered by Quinn’s kid. So, he tracks down the kid and his buddies to murder them. For 94 minutes, we have nothing but Kirk Douglas stalking and killing bad guys. At its heart, it feels way closer to a 70s movie. But, here we are.
Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn are a great couple of actors. But, they don’t get enough time to play off each other. It’s kinda nutty, but it did allow Earl Holliman more time to flex his acting muscles. Future director Brian Hutton also shows up in a strong supporting role that almost steals focus. There’s so much good here that I wish we got a little more time with these characters.
Westerns from this period feel like a last gasp. Even then, Last Train from Gun Hill was showing hallmarks of the Westerns that would come later. Angrier and much more violent, the Western was changing with a different America. Strong work all around and deserves to be seen by more people.
The Blu-ray comes with the usual amount of perks expected from a Paramount Presents release. The bigger winner on the set is that 1080p transfer made from the recent 6K film transfer. You also get a new featurette and trailer. Every studio should be putting this level of work into their older releases. I’d recommend a purchase to classic Western fans.