Support Your Local Gunfighter

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Support Your Local Gunfighter
Support Your Local Gunfighter-1971-poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBurt Kennedy
Written byJames Edward Grant and, uncredited, Burt Kennedy[1]
Produced byBill Finnegan
Burt Kennedy
StarringJames Garner
Suzanne Pleshette
Harry Morgan
Jack Elam
John Dehner
Marie Windsor
Joan Blondell
Kathleen Freeman
Ellen Corby
CinematographyHarry Stradling Jr.
Edited byWilliam B. Gulick
Music byJack Elliot
Allyn Ferguson
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 26, 1971 (1971-05-26)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States

Support Your Local Gunfighter is a 1971 comic Western film directed by Burt Kennedy and starring James Garner. It was written by James Edward Grant. The film shares many cast and crew members and plot elements with the earlier Support Your Local Sheriff!, but is not a sequel. It actually parodies Yojimbo and its remake A Fistful of Dollars, using the basic storyline of a stranger who wanders into a feuding town and pretends to work as an enforcer for both sides.

Garner later wrote the film was, "not as good as Support Your Local Sheriff".[2]


Latigo Smith, a gambler and confidence man, is traveling by train in frontier-era Colorado with the rich and powerful Goldie. Goldie wants desperately to marry him, a fate of which he wants no part. He sneaks off the train at Purgatory, a small mining town.

He discovers that two mining companies, run by bitter rivals Taylor Barton and Colonel Ames, are vying to find a "mother lode" of gold buried somewhere nearby. Dynamite blasts periodically rock the town to its foundations.

Latigo consults the town doctor about an embarrassing problem that is not immediately revealed, but turns out to be a Goldie-related tattoo. Latigo's great weakness is a periodic uncontrollable urge to bet on roulette; he soon loses all of his money playing his "lucky" number, 23. Penniless, he starts romancing local saloonkeeper Miss Jenny. Being mistaken for infamous gunslinger "Swifty" Morgan gives Latigo an idea. He talks amiable ne'er-do-well Jug May into impersonating Swifty. Latigo attracts the attention of Patience Barton, the hot-tempered daughter of Taylor, who desperately wants to escape her frontier existence, attend "Miss Hunter's College on the Hudson River, New York, for Young Ladies of Good Families", and live a life of refinement in New York City. When Latigo and Jug side with the Bartons in a dispute, Ames sends a telegram to the real Swifty Morgan, informing him of their deception.

Swifty arrives in town and immediately challenges the hapless Jug to a gunfight, but at the appointed time and place, Latigo is there in his place, sitting atop a donkey loaded with crates of dynamite. Swifty calls Latigo's bluff, but he is startled by the next mine explosion and accidentally shoots himself. The blast also panics the donkey, which charges into the Bartons' saloon. The dynamite explodes, blowing up the building, uncovering the mother lode, and removing Latigo's troublesome tattoo but leaving him uninjured.

Latigo finally wins big at roulette after betting $10,000 of the Bartons' money on number 23. From the back of a train taking Latigo and Patience to Denver to get married, Jug narrates the outcomes: Patience never does go to Miss Hunter's College, but her seven daughters do; and Jug goes on to become a big star in Italian Westerns.


A. ^ Also appeared in Support Your Local Sheriff!

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Garner, James; Winokur, Jon (2011). The Garner Files: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster. p. 258.

External links[edit]