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Western films, from silent to today

Gunless (2010)

Paul Gross plays the Montana Kid, who rides into the small burg of Barclay Brush with a bullet in his butt and a dead tree branch at the end of the rope that’s tied around his neck. Good thing for him the hanging party didn’t know what it was doing and decided to string him from a tree that was dead. Otherwise he would have been.

Well, the Kid is in town for no more than 10 minutes when Jack the blacksmith upsets him by caring for his horse without permission, then calling him a common nuisance when he objects. Oh, the Kid doesn’t mind being called a nuisance. But he won’t stand for being called common.

So he calls out the blacksmith only to discover, lo and behold, there isn’t a working six-gun in all of Barclay Brush except for the one he’s carrying. Pretty widow Jane Taylor offers a suggestion. She’ll let the Kid repair her broken six-gun for use in his showdown with Jack, but only if he’ll help her get a windmill up and running first.

Determined to live by the code of the West, the Kid agrees. But just how long will he be able to stand it in this north-of-the-border town where he frequently finds himself thinking everyone is at least a bit touched? And how long will he be able to dodge the bounty hunter who’s on his trail?

Rating 5 out of 6Review:

Neat little Western might not be a classic, but it should leave you smiling. Paul Gross is particularly effective as a gunfighter who finds himself trying to cling to his code in a town that could care less about that code, and eventually winds up questioning it himself.

But we also get fine performances from Seinna Guillory as Jane, Dustin Mulligan as a Royal Canadian Police officer who travels around to check on resident’s well-being, and from Tyler Mane as the blacksmith who has no interest in a showdown with the Montana Kid.

Gross, who makes fun of Canada throughout the film, is ironically best known for his role as a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman in the TV series Due South.

Directed by:
William Phillips

Paul Gross … The Montana Kid
Sienna Guillory … Jane Taylor
Dustin Milligan … Corp. Jonathan Kent
Tyler Mane … Jack
Callum Keith Rennie … Ben Cutler
Jay Brazeau … Dr. Angus Schiffron
Graham Greene … N’Kwala
Michael Ekland … Larry
Alex Zahara … Jon
Jody Racicot … Paul
Melody B. Choi … Adell
Tseng Chang … Mr. Kwon

Runtime: 89 min.

Memorable lines:

The Montana Kid, to a young Chinese girl: “Do you, speekee English?”
The girl: “Do you?” (Pause) “You stink.”

Jane Taylor: “Your bottom’s bleeding.”
The Montana Kid: “Yeh, I know.”

Doc, upon plucking a bullet from the Montana Kid’s butt: “Well, hello, again. I’d say .36 caliber. Am I right?”
The Montana Kid: “I don’t know. I didn’t get a good look at it going in … I appreciate you tending to my wounds, doc, but I ain’t got no money.”
Doc: “I always pull the first bullet out of a man’s posterior pro bono. It’s a time-honored tradition.”

The Montana Kid, after being handed a six-gun by Jayne that falls apart. “That’s bad. Why do you even bother carrying this?”
Jane: “To frighten away bothersome folk, mostly. A pistol’s not just for killing people. It’s also real good for scaring them.”
The Montana Kid, now holding just the gun handle after the barrel has fallen off: “This isn’t scary.”

The Montana Kid, after being complimented on the suit he plans to wear to a dance: “Thank you. I had to eat an entire crate of snails before Carl would give me the loan of this.”
Jane: “I don’t know if that makes me flattered or alarmed.”

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