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4.2 out of 5 stars
17
4.2 out of 5 stars
Invitation To A Gunfighter [DVD]
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 September 2015
This is not one of the best westerns you will ever see but it's good worth a watch yul brynner is great as he is in most of the films he starred in I only came over it by mistake whilst looking for something else took a risk and it's worth it I would recommend it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 April 2009
This is most unusual Western fare. The film is directed by Richard Wilson who also co wrote the script with his wife. Wilson shows an assured hand with the directorial duties as you might expect from someone who learnt his trade in the legendary Mercury theatre, and acted in most of Orson Welles American films. His theatre background is very evident in this film which could be easily transposed to the stage. Location filming is almost non existent, most of the action taking place indoors. The emphasis is very much on the script and the acting abilities of the cast.

Yul Brynner in what was certainly one of his finest roles plays the dandyish Jules (silent S) Gaspard (silent D) D'Estaing a Creole gunfighter who arrives in the New Mexico town of Pecos just after the end of the Civil war. The town is after the blood of George Segal the only man to have fought the rebel cause in the war. Brynner, just passing through decides to stay and takes money from a corrupt town official to kill Segal. But below the harsh exterior there is always the possibility that Brynner may have a conscience. The divisions between good and bad become blurred and we head to a bloody showdown.

There is a richness to the film beyond this brief synopsis. Issues of racism and class divisions are unusually and honestly covered. We discover that D'Estaings mother was a slave owned by his Father who sold her when she persisted in asking that he educate her son beyond his station. A traumatic event that you realise has affected his whole psyche. The two main stars Brynner and Segal in one of his earlier roles are both excellent. Strother Martin that old Peckinpah favourite also appears as the town barber. The film contains a memorable scene where Brynner in a fest of wanton vandalism wrecks most of the town. Powerful stuff, but emotions run high in this film. There is a powerful scene at the end of the film where barriers of race and class are broken down, which is remarkably similar to one in the film "Gladiator". Those that have seen that film and watch this one will know what I mean.

If you are expecting a traditional western you will be disappointed. This is not a big budget film, a fact that does not require a genius to work out. The cinematography I usually crave in a Western is non existent. No Lucien Ballard or Winton Hoch was required here. But I will forgive that in this film. This a well crafted minor classic. Most unusual and ultimately very satisfying. The sound quality on my DVD was a little poor, but I was happy to overlook this to see the film again after a long break. It is an impressive piece of film making and well worth watching.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 April 2009
This is most unusual Western fare. The film is directed by Richard Wilson who also co wrote the script with his wife. Wilson shows an assured hand with the directorial duties as you might expect from someone who learnt his trade in the legendary Mercury theatre, and acted in most of Orson Welles American films. His theatre background is very evident in this film which could be easily transposed to the stage. Location filming is almost non existent, most of the action taking place indoors. The emphasis is very much on the script and the acting abilities of the cast.

Yul Brynner in what was certainly one of his finest roles plays the dandyish Jules (silent S) Gaspard (silent D) D'Estaing a Creole gunfighter who arrives in the New Mexico town of Pecos just after the end of the Civil war. The town is after the blood of George Segal the only man to have fought the rebel cause in the war. Brynner, just passing through decides to stay and takes money from a corrupt town official to kill Segal. But below the harsh exterior there is always the possibility that Brynner may have a conscience. The divisions between good and bad become blurred and we head to a bloody showdown.

There is a richness to the film beyond this brief synopsis. Issues of racism and class divisions are unusually and honestly covered. We discover that D'Estaings mother was a slave owned by his Father who sold her when she persisted in asking that he educate her son beyond his station. A traumatic event that you realise has affected his whole psyche. The two main stars Brynner and Segal in one of his earlier roles are both excellent. Strother Martin that old Peckinpah favourite also appears as the town barber. The film contains a memorable scene where Brynner in a fest of wanton vandalism wrecks most of the town. Strong stuff, but emotions run high in this film. At the very powerful films ending there is a scene where barriers of race and class are broken down that is remarkably similar to one in the much more famous film "Gladiator". If you have seen that film and watch this one you will know what I mean!

If you are expecting a traditional western you will be disappointed. This is not a big budget film, a fact that does not require a genius to work out. The cinematography I usually crave in a Western is non existent. No Lucien Ballard or Winton Hoch was required here. But I will forgive that in this film. This a well crafted minor classic. Most unusual and ultimately very satisfying. The sound quality on my DVD was a little poor, but I was happy to overlook this to see the film again after a long break. It is an impressive piece of film making and well worth watching.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 November 2011
Rebel soldier Matt Weaver returns to town after the Civil War, only to find that his home has been sold by unscrupulous town boss, Sam Brewster. Brewster, fearing for his safety, hires gunfighter Jules Gaspard d'Estaing to eradicate Weaver. But as d'Estaing's settles in to town it becomes clear to him just what a corrupt and morally bankrupt bunch the townsfolk are.

It grieves me to mark a film like this, with so many good people involved with it, down so low. The thematic heart of this picture is fabulous, nothing none of us haven't seen before, but tales of hired gunmen straightening out dirty towns are always of interest if handled with care and a commitment to the moral essence. Invitation To A Gunfighter, in spite of starring Yul Brynner, George Segal, Brad Dexter, Pat Hingle and Strother Martin, and being directed by Orson Welles collaborator Richard Wilson, is ploddingly paced and acted like a low budget C movie. The score from David Raksin is intrusive and completely out of sync with the nature of the piece, whilst the back lot location is all too evident.

The piece briefly picks up entering the final third, where thankfully Brynner is asked to earn his pay outside of walking around glumly, but it's a false dawn as the finale has all the excitement of a runny nose. I'm in the minority judging by the comments written for this film thus far, so maybe it caught me at a bad time, but the chances of me ever seeking this one out again are remote to say the least. 3/10
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on 8 January 2012
Invitation to a gunfighter is a slow moving drama of a western. It's not bad, it's just not that exciting. The cover and the title make it seem like it's going to be a classic but in truth it's quite unusual. I'd say it veers between a five star film and a two star film. There's nothing about it that's bad as such, good cast,plot,screenplay, but at the same time it never really reaches any great moments. Definataly worth seeing if you're a western fan for its originality but not a top ten classic.
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on 14 October 2016
Very good story very well told, Yul Brynner is superb as the reluctant gunfighter who so deftly manipulates those around him. As a western it is some what lacking in action and shoot'em up fans maybe somewhat disappointed with the restrained action. But it's a western for the none western fan. The story line is almost Shakespeare like in it's exploration of why people do the things they do, the motives and fears, aspiration and cupidity that drives them. It's one of those movie that is unremarkable in the viewing of but while you watch it stimulates thoughts and ideas that stay with you long after it's over and day's latter you still remember it fondly. Not the kind of movie for when you want excitement and action but for a contemplative afternoon alone with a cup of tea, feet up and shut the world out.
The story line occurs at the end of the American Civil War when the only Confederate to return home to an other wise Unionist community finds his farm as been sold, in his absence, and he is no longer welcome. But he refuses to leave what he regards has his home. The good people of the town agree to employ a gunfighter to drive him out. Up steps Yul Brynner. But he's not the gunfighter they had in mind and with subtle manipulation of the good peoples weaknesses he turns both the town and the situation on it's head.
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on 22 April 2013
First saw this on YouTube and decided to by the DVD. An old fashioned western with my favourite actor, Yul Brynner.
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on 5 July 2014
Although his charter is much the same as in the mag 7 its very enjoyable to watch ,Just dont make em like this anymore!
Could watch every couple of weeks if had the time,Great actor !
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on 19 January 2013
A nice moment in front of my T V, watching this film. But it's a classical movie for the ones who dream of the old times of The Far West 'n want to kill an hour 'n not fall asleep.
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on 21 December 2013
Good film with Yul Bryner.
Synopsis = goddie chases baddie after causing trouble. Bang Bang Bang and the hero wins the baddie fails
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