|Directed by||George Marshall|
|Produced by||Edmund Grainger|
|Written by||William Bowers
James Edward Grant
|Music by||Jeff Alexander|
|Cinematography||Robert J. Bronner|
|Edited by||Ralph E. Winters|
|Release date(s)||May 7, 1958|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Gambler Jason Sweet (Glenn Ford) wins a herd of sheep in a poker game and proceeds to take them by train into the middle of cattle country. It is not long before the townsfolk take notice (and object), but Sweet is more than up to the challenge.
The first thing he does is pick a fight with the roughest, toughest man around, "Jumbo" McCall (Mickey Shaughnessy), and beat him up. He also reveals himself to be an expert with a gun. Dell Payton (Shirley MacLaine) does not know what to make of him, but is attracted to him, as is he to her. Her fiancé, local cattle baron "Colonel" Steven Bedford (Leslie Nielsen), is troubled by this and also because he and Sweet know each other. The newcomer recognizes Bedford as an old acquaintance, Johnny Bledsoe, a card sharp and gunfighter gone respectable.
When Bedford finds himself losing their battle for domination, despite initially having the whole town behind him, he sends for professional gunman Chocktaw Neal (Pernell Roberts). Chocktaw and his two buddies all have grudges against Sweet. Chocktaw tries to goad Sweet into a shootout, but Sweet spots Chocktaw's friends, aiming at him with their rifles. Fortunately, Dell and Milt Masters (Edgar Buchanan) are able to disarm them, and Sweet is quicker to the draw than Chocktaw. The final showdown comes down to Bedford and Sweet. Sweet is faster and smarter, and Bedford ends up dead.
Then, to Dell's utter astonishment, Sweet sells the sheep so he can buy cattle. He explains he only kept them because he refuses to be pushed around by anybody. The couple then ride away together.
- Glenn Ford as Jason Sweet
- Shirley MacLaine as Dell Payton
- Leslie Nielsen as "Colonel" Stephen Bedford / Johnny Bledsoe
- Mickey Shaughnessy as "Jumbo" McCall
- Edgar Buchanan as Milt Masters
- Willis Bouchey as Frank Payton, Dell's father
- Pernell Roberts as Chocktaw Neal
- Slim Pickens as Marshal, who goes fishing whenever there is likely to be trouble
- Robert 'Buzz' Henry as Red
- Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez as Angelo, one of Sweet's shepherds
According to MGM records the film earned $1,535,000 in the US and Canada and $2.2 million elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $976,000.
There were also two BAFTA nominations: Best Film from any source, and Glenn Ford for Best Foreign Actor.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- The Sheepman at the Internet Movie Database
- The Sheepman at the TCM Movie Database
- The Sheepman at AllMovie