"I like you, Physician. You're like me. You and I may well be the only two honest men in town."
"Don't compare us. We've got nothing in common."
Been on an Audie Murphy kick lately. Watched The Red Badge Of Courage (which I'll talk about later) and this 1959 film, No Name On The Bullet, which has been sitting in my "to view" pile for a while. Directed by the great Jack Arnold, with a screenplay by Gene L. Coon (the other Gene, from Star Trek). The two previously worked together on the 1958 Jeff Chandler/Orson Welles film, Man In The Shadow.
Murphy plays a mysterious hired gunman, John Gant, who rides into town to kill an unknown target. His method is to provoke his victim into a fight, shooting first, so Gant never gets arrested for a killing. Gant bides his time, calmly drinking coffee and playing chess with the town doctor (Charles Drake), and waiting. In the meantime, the town starts to unravel and prominent (but unscrupulous) citizens become paranoid wondering if Gant was hired to kill them, turning on each other.
Murphy is very good in this part, one of his best, as a cool hired killer who prefers playing chess, drinking his coffee, and discussing his philosophies on death and justice to the doctor, who finds the killer rather likable. Charles Drake always struck me as someone who played weak-willed characters throughout his career, but he's okay as the doctor. He was good friends with Murphy offscreen and co-starred in a number of Murphy's films.
The rest of the cast is filled by reliable character actors such as R.G. Armstrong, Warren Stevens, Willis Bouchey, Virginia Grey, Karl Swenson, Whit Bissell, and (a young Pre-Untouchables/Dick Van Dyke Show) Jerry Paris.
Drake, Stevens, and Bissell all appeared on Star Trek.
Jack Arnold is best known for his science fiction classics, It Came From Outer Space, Creature from The Black Lagoon, Tarantula, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, but was quite versatile, doing many types of films, and later, a lot of television, most prominently, Gilligan's Island.
Recommended, and now available in a new Audie Murphy Collection blu-ray box set from Kino-Lorber.