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Western films, from silent to today

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) posterKenneth Moore is Jonathan Tibbs, a young Englishman expected to save the family gun manufacturing business from fiscal ruin.

So he heads across the Atlantic because, he figures, selling guns should be easy in the American West.

Folks don’t expect much from the dude with the odd accent, but he manages to sneak up on an Indian chief during an attack on a stagecoach, then uses a trick derringer to outdraw some baddies in the town of Fractured Jaw.

Those feats earn him a sheriff’s badge from Mayor Masters, who’s desperate for someone to keep the peace between the riders of the rival ranches Lazy S and Box T.

But Kate, the shapely owner of the town’s best saloon and boarding house, figures Jonathan is destined for a quick trip to boot hill if he doesn’t learn some real Western survival skills real fast.

So she takes it upon herself to teach him how to handle a gun and winds up falling in love with him in the process.

Turns out she forgot to teach him Western etiquette. Because all bets are off when he finally finds a buyer of his guns — at a nearby Indian camp.

Review:

Decent comedy Western in which most of the early laughs come from Englishman Tibbs lack of understanding of the ways of the West.

But the best scenes come when Tibbs is taught how to shoot by Kate — let’s just say he has trouble staying focused on his guns — and when he winds up visiting an Indian camp for the first time.

This marked the only time Jayne Mansfield strapped a gunbelt on her purported 40-21-35 frame. She died in 1967 at age 34 in an automobile accident that also claimed the life of her driver and attorney. Three of her children riding in the back seat escaped with minor injuries.

By the way, that sweet swinging voice isn’t Jayne. Her vocals on the musical numbers were dubbed by Connie Francis.

Jayne Mansfield as Kate and Kenneth Moore as Jonathan Tibbs in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)Directed by:
Raoul Walsh

Cast:
Kenneth Moore … Jonathan Tibbs
Jayne Mansfield … Kate
Henry Hull … Mayor Masters
Bruce Cabot … Jack
Ronald Squire … Toynbee
William Campbell … Keeno
Sid James … The drunk
Reed De Rouen … Clayborne
Charles Irwin … Luke
Donald Stewart … The drummer
Clancy Cooper … The barber
Robert Morley … Uncle Lucius
David Horne … James
Eynon Evans … Manager of Tibbs & Co.
Jonas Applegarth … Running Deer
Joe Buffalo … Red Wolf
Larry Taylor … Gun guard

Runtime: 103 min.

Songs:
“In the Valley of Love”
“If the San Francisco Hills Could Only Talk”
“Strolling Down the Lane with Bill”
Performed by Jayne Mansfield
Dubbed by Connie Francis

Kenneth Moore as Jonathan Tibbs and Henry Hull as Major Masters in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)Memorable lines:

Jonathan Tibbs: “This is a horseless carriage.”
Eynon Evans: “What’s the use of a carraige without a horse?”

Jonathan Tibbs, as Indians attack the stage: “Savages, stop firing!”

Kate, upon meeting Jonathan Tibbs: “Well, is the circus in town? Or are you advance man for a medicine show?”

Jonathan Tibbs: “There’s such a devil of a racket going on down here that it’s practically impossible to sleep. No doubt you could switch me to a quieter spot.”
Kate: “There’s one quieter spot in Fractured Jaw, and that’s boot hill. And I think you’ll wind up there.”
Jonathan: “Thank you so much. Perhaps that porter gent of yours could deliver my luggage there in the morning.”

Jayne Mansfield as Kate in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) Mayor Masters: “This here is a friendly town, mister, and we don’t ask no questions.”
Jonathan Tibbs: “No sir. From what I’ve encountered, you’d only be confused by the answers.”

Kate: “Tibbs, I just decided something. I’m going to teach you to shoot. It won’t do any good, but at least I won’t be blaming myself at your funeral.”

Major Masters about Jonathan Tibbs: “That man is either the darnedest fool or the bravest man in the world. I can’t make up my mind which.”

Jonathan Tibbs: “Kate, I came out here to sell guns, and I’m determined to find someone who will buy them.”
Kate: “I couldn’t fall in love with a local idiot, I had to pick an international one.”

Jonathan Tibbs: “I do hope our children take after me.”
Kate: “You know what? I do too.”
Tibbs: “But not the girls!”

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