Gun for a Coward

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Gun for a Coward
Directed by Abner Biberman
Produced by William Alland
Screenplay by Robert Wright Campbell
Starring Fred MacMurray
Jeffrey Hunter
Janice Rule
Chill Wills
Dean Stockwell
Cinematography George Robinson
Edited by Edward Curtiss
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • January 30, 1957 (1957-01-30) (New York City)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1 million (US)[1]

Gun for a Coward is a 1957 American CinemaScope Eastmancolor Western film directed by Abner Biberman, starring Fred MacMurray, Jeffrey Hunter, Janice Rule, Chill Wills and Dean Stockwell.


Will Keough is a rancher with two younger brothers, who are called Bless and Hade. They live with their widowed mother, Hannah, whose husband was bitten by a rattlesnake when Bless was a young boy. Ever since that day, Hannah has been determined to shield Bless from the hard life of the West and turn him instead into a refined, gentler soul. In so doing, she sometimes embarrasses Bless in front of the ranch's other men.

Hannah wants to move to the big, sophisticated city of St. Louis and take her middle son with her. Bless refuses at the last minute, then feels guilty when the months go by and his unhappy mother becomes ill and passes away.

Will, meanwhile, builds the ranch into one of the territory's largest. His primary concerns are rustlers and neighbor Audrey, whom he loves and intends to marry, although he has been slow to commit. What he doesn't know is that Audrey has fallen in love with Bless.

Before and during a cattle drive to Abilene, more than once Bless is accused of being cowardly. He fails to adequately back up Hade in a bar fight. A fake rattlesnake is placed on Bless while asleep on the trail, terrifying him.

Bless then alienates Will by confessing that he and Audrey wish to marry. Rustlers stampede the cattle, and Hade is shot to death by a rustler. Will blames Bless, and they fight to a draw after the funeral. Will then allows Bless to lead the posse riding out to confront the rustlers, whereupon Will rides out of town right after he tells Audrey that he approves of their future together.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30

External links[edit]