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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Western
As others reviewers have noted, 1959's "No Name on the Bullet" is far from being a typical Audie Murphy western. Under Jack Arnold's expert direction, the focus here is on suspense and tension, rather than action. When gunman John Gant rides into town, most of the local citizens are justifiably nervous. Gant is a hired killer, and he seldom visits a town just to...
Published on June 21 2004 by peterfromkanata

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An edgy performance from an underrated talent, Audie Murphy
This is a very watchable Western featuring Audie Murphy and co-starring Charles Drake (Audie's co-star in "To Hell and Back"). If this film had been made ten years later, it would have been a good vehicle for Clint Eastwood. Audie Murphy plays a Western "hit man" who is famous for killing his prey not by out-and-out murder, but through...
Published on July 14 1999


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful Western, June 21 2004
By 
peterfromkanata (Kanata, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Name on the Bullet (DVD)
As others reviewers have noted, 1959's "No Name on the Bullet" is far from being a typical Audie Murphy western. Under Jack Arnold's expert direction, the focus here is on suspense and tension, rather than action. When gunman John Gant rides into town, most of the local citizens are justifiably nervous. Gant is a hired killer, and he seldom visits a town just to see the sights. Much of the film revolves around the questions--why is he here ? Who is he after ? Which of the town's citizens will die ? Since Gant isn't the talkative type, the suspense keeps building, not to mention the nervous paranoia of the townfolk.
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this outstanding western., June 3 2004
By 
D. R. Schryer (Poquoson, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Name on the Bullet (DVD)
Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier of World War II. After the war he got involved with movies -- predominantly westerns. Frankly, his films are highly variable in quality. Some are pretty bad B movies. But given a good script, good direction, and good supporting actors, Murphy turned in several surprisingly fine performances. No Name on the Bullet is a case in point. Murphy convincingly plays John Gant -- a cool, deceptively-likeable hired killer with a reputation for goading his intended victim into attempting to draw first so that Gant can always get off by claiming self defence. This movie is a study of the effect of Gant's arrival in a town on it's citizens. While Gant quietly drinks coffee in the hotel bar or plays chess with the local doctor, the town's leading citizens go to pieces because their secret guilts convince each of them that he is Gant's target. The finale of this tense psychological drama is surprising but not contrived. This is a very good western by any standard and probably Audie Murphy's best. I hope its availability on DVD will find it the wide audience which it richly deserves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western, June 8 2004
By 
David W. Johnson (Rainbow Lake, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Name on the Bullet (DVD)
Audie Murphy is actually one of the most believable western movie stars. His ability in armed combat prove this and this particular western movie is one of the best. I have watched and own many western movies, and this is one of my favorites.
Murphy plays a clean cut and possible hero in every western he plays in, but this role is one of his most unusual. I recommend it to any western film collector.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid performance by Murphy!!!, Jan. 28 2002
By 
Jeff Smith (Hot Springs Village, Arkansas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Everyone always talks about Audie Murphy's baby face and his slight build. But take a close look at his eyes. He was a cold-eyed individual, brought about largely by his 2 years in combat and subsequently suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. If he had been born during the Old West times, he would have been a killer. "No Name on the Bullet" personifies Murphy's personality had he lived during those times.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An edgy performance from an underrated talent, Audie Murphy, July 14 1999
By A Customer
This is a very watchable Western featuring Audie Murphy and co-starring Charles Drake (Audie's co-star in "To Hell and Back"). If this film had been made ten years later, it would have been a good vehicle for Clint Eastwood. Audie Murphy plays a Western "hit man" who is famous for killing his prey not by out-and-out murder, but through self-defense or other means. Charles Drake plays the town doctor who becomes friendly with Audie, despite his personal feelings about Audie's quest.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Universal has released this on video - hopefully, they'll release some more. If you like Westerns, see this film - if you're not familiar with Audie Murphy's work or have heard less than flattering things about his acting, you will be pleasantly surprised!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, often-overlooked western., Sept. 29 2000
By 
D. R. Schryer (Poquoson, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier of World War II. After the war he got involved with movies -- predominantly westerns. Frankly, his films are highly variable in quality. Some are pretty bad B movies. But given a good script, good direction, and good supporting actors, Murphy turned in several surprisingly fine performances. No Name on the Bullet is a case in point. Murphy plays John Gant -- a cool, deceptively-likeable hired killer with a reputation for goading his intended victim into attempting to draw first so that Gant can always get off by claiming self defence. This movie is a study of the effect of Gant's arrival in a town on it's citizens. While Gant quietly drinks coffee in the hotel bar or plays chess with the local doctor, the town's leading citizens go to pieces because their secret guilts convince each of them that he is Gant's target. The finale of this tense psychological drama is surprising but not contrived. This is a good western by any standard and probably Audie Murphy's best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very tense, intelligent psychological western, May 29 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Name on the Bullet (DVD)
A cold, paid killer comes to town, and the town falls apart in
paranoia, wondering who his target is. An interesting political comment
on fear and mob mentality (especially the cold war kind), and a
surprisingly complex look at morality for a film from it's era.

There's also an unusual bond between hero and bad guy that feels ahead
of its time.

You can bet a different ending would be demanded today.

Audie Murphy as the killer isn't a great actor, but his baby-faced
ordinariness makes the character much more fascinating than an obvious
bit of "tough guy" casting like a Jack Palance would have.

Along with "The Incredible Shrinking Man", this shows Jack Arnold as
one of the more interesting, thoughtful US filmmakers of the late
1950s.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological western dealing with small-town guilt., Oct. 22 1999
By 
Sarah Emanuel (Massachusetts, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
Audie Murphy portrays a young outlaw who kills for money in this psychological thriller, a genre of Westerns, that deals with the impact of people's pasts in a small western town. Chaos breaks out when the threat of consequence for past immoralities causes townspeople to face their guilt. Subtle, simple, Murphy depicts a cool, level-headed killer amused by the effects his presence in town is having, yet occupied only with killing the man he was sent to murder. In this town, there is no name on the bullet, and everyone thinks its headed for them. Great flick.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Who's the target?, July 2 2001
By A Customer
Splendid little suspense western with Audie Murphy in non-typical role as hired killer. Tence, exiting and with a good script and no un-necessary violence, this western comes out pretty good. Very recommendable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "No Name on the Bullet (1959) ... Audie Murphy ... Jack Arnold (Director) (2010)", June 19 2011
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Name on the Bullet (DVD)
Universal Pictures presents "NO NAME ON THE BULLET" (1959) (77 min/Color) -- Starring Audie Murphy, Charles Drake, Joan Evans, Virginia Grey, Warren Stevens & R. G. Armstrong

Directed by Jack Arnold

John Gant (Audie Murphy) rides into the town of Lordsburg and quietly checks into the hotel. He doesn't say much, nor does he need to - his mere presence does the talking. Gant is a killer, a hired assassin, a gunman with 23 dead men to his credit, but he is not a murderer or a criminal; all of his killings have been legal, a result of self-defense when the men he was after drew on him. When he comes to a town, someone dies as surely as if he were the angel of death - he even tells the town doctor in Lordsburg (Charles Drake) that he's in "a similar line of work," and ends up playing chess with him.

Who has he come to "see" in Lordsburg? No one is sure, but as Sheriff Buck Hastings tells his deputy, it will be mighty interesting watching the leading citizens over the next few days. Sure enough, the town banker locks himself in his office with a gun, his business partner starts wearing a gun for the first time in his life, the man they cheated in their dealings is also armed; and one guilty cuckold (Warren Stevens) is positive his ex-rival has paid Gant. Less than 12 hours after that, there's no law left in Lordsburg, every dirty little secret in every man's past starts bubbling to the surface, and gun play has broken out in the streets between the men who think their respective rivals have brought Gant to town.

Yes! - that's legendary sci-fi director Jack Arnold at the helm in this always interesting western and the gift of a suspenseful ending.

BIOS:
1. Jack Arnold [aka: Jack Arnold Waks] (Director)
Date of Birth: 14 October 1916 - New Haven, Connecticut
Date of Death: 17 March 1992 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

2. Audie Murphy [aka: Audie Leon Murphy]
Date of Birth: 20 June 1924 - Kingston, Texas
Date of Death: 28 May 1971 - near Roanoke, Virginia

3. Charles Drake [aka: Charles Rupert]
Date of Birth: 2 October 1917 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 10 September 1994 - East Lyme, Connecticut

4. Joan Evans [aka: Joan Eunson]
Date of Birth: 18 July 1934 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

5. Virginia Grey
Date of Birth: 22 March 1917 - Los Angeles, California
Date of Death: 31 July 2004 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

6. Warren Stevens
Date of Birth: 2 November 1919 - Clark's Summit, Pennsylvania
Date of Death: Still Living

7. R.G. Armstrong [aka: Robert Golden Armstrong]
Date of Birth: 7 April 1917 - Birmingham, Alabama
Date of Death: Still Living

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 77 min on DVD ~ Universal Pictures ~ (May 9, 2010)
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No Name on the Bullet
No Name on the Bullet by Jack Arnold (DVD - 2004)
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