The Sheepman

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The Sheepman
Film poster
Directed byGeorge Marshall
Produced byEdmund Grainger
Written byWilliam Bowers
James Edward Grant
StarringGlenn Ford
Shirley MacLaine
Leslie Nielsen
Music byJeff Alexander
CinematographyRobert J. Bronner
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 7, 1958 (1958-05-07)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,735,000[1]

The Sheepman is a 1958 American western film directed by George Marshall and starring Glenn Ford, Shirley MacLaine, and Leslie Nielsen.


Gambler Jason Sweet (Ford) wins a herd of sheep in a poker game and proceeds to take them by train into the middle of cattle country. Before long, 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 he is to her. Her fiancé, local cattle baron "Colonel" Steven Bedford (Nielsen), is troubled by this and also because Sweet and he 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. 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 refused to be pushed around by anybody. The couple then rides away together.


Box office[edit]

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.[1]

Award nominations[edit]

William Bowers and James Edward Grant were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen.

The two BAFTA nominations were: Best Film from any source, and Glenn Ford for Best Foreign Actor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

External links[edit]