As Gant, Murphy delivers a chilling performance. You never doubt that, behind that baby face and modest build, is a man not to be crossed ( by all accounts, in real life, as well as in movies ). He is not intimidated by anyone, not even a hostile crowd who thinks that, by sheer numbers, it can scare him away. As the town's doctor who tries to befriend Gant, Charles Drake delivers a strong performance as he comes to realize that he cannot distract the killer from his purpose.
Other fine supporting actors further add to the quality of the film--Whit Bissell, Karl Swenson, Warren Stevens and Virginia Grey. Apart from one climactic scene with Mr. Murphy, leading lady, Joan Evans ( not to be confused with the popular comedienne ), has little to do but make coffee for her "man", Charles Drake.
I found the ending to be memorable, and--for those of you who like action--there is gunplay at certain crucial parts of the movie.
The DVD has beautiful colour, is widescreen and mono sound. The only extra is the original trailer.
Audie Murphy made a lot of westerns in the 1950s and 60s. "No Name on the Bullet" is not the most action-packed, but it is certainly one of the most interesting, and features one of his best perfomances. If he is not yet represented in your western DVD collection, this is an excellent title to start with.
Murphy gives a splendid performance as John Gant, a hired killer whose presence in Lordsburg causes total chaos, even though he does nothing at first - just sitting around drinking coffee and playing chess with the local physician.
Murphy's facial expressions were great as he smugly looked around and watched the carnage his name and reputation created. The banker winds up killing himself (even though he wasn't Murphy's target), and another man in town tries to get drunk enough to have the courage to face Gant, who stares him down and sends him fleeing from the bar.
This was probably Murphy's finest performance outside of "To Hell and Back," when he was not really acting but working on raw emotion, adrenaline and painful memories of the war.
Even when the town bands together and comes to make him leave, Gant remains cold as ice and backs them down. He knew they could kill him, but the question was "How many could Gant kill before they killed him?" None of them were willing to die to get rid of Gant.
Charles Drake also delivered a great performance as the physician opposite Murphy's character. While the entire town was in panic and chaos, wondering who Gant had come for, Drake calmly plays a game of chess with the gunman, trying to get inside his head and figure out what "makes him tick."
A suspenseful thriller with a minimum amount of violence, "No Name on the Bullet" comes highly recommended.