I think most "B" Western fans would agree that any Western starring both Peggie Castle and Marie Windsor is a must-see, and I'm no exception.
I was intrigued by mention of the film in a discussion over at Riding the High Country, and since it's available via Amazon Watch Instantly streaming I decided to check it out. I'm glad I did, as it proved to be 71 minutes of enjoyable entertainment. There are countless solid, intriguing little Westerns out there just waiting to be rediscovered, and this is one of them.
Castle, whose first name is erroneously billed here as Peggy, plays Kate Masters, an elegant woman who brings her sharpshooting act to the saloon owned by Big Mike (Robert Lowery) in a dusty little Western town.
Neither Kate nor Dan is exactly who they appear to be, but they find they have a common goal: justice for the death of Kate's parents.
I've seen some reviews disparaging various aspects of this film, including the low budget and William Tallman as the leading man, and in an interview Windsor said, "I'm not fond of the picture — it was lightweight, and done in a hurry!”
My main criticism is that I would have liked to see a couple more scenes developing the relationship between Kate and Dan, but I thought that they had surprisingly good chemistry, whether tussling over a gun in Kate's hotel room or in the scene where she threatens to shoot Dan and he says he believes she can't, as "Learning to use a gun is not learning to kill." I bought into their relationship, abbreviated though the depiction was, and liked the story.
Windsor's presence is never explained, although since she's in her riding clothes and is in love with Jud's no-good son, her appearance at least makes a modicum of sense. I assumed an explanatory scene was left on the editing room floor, but various reviews on the internet suggest Windsor had inadvertently walked into the scene, but they kept right on filming! For me something like that just makes the movie more fun; we're not watching John Ford caliber art, and it's almost as though the viewer has the momentary chance to peer into the filmmaking process -- demonstrating that Windsor was correct, it was done in a hurry!
Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Gregory Moffett, who plays one of the town boys, is the brother of actress Sharyn Moffett (THE LOCKET).
TWO-GUN LADY was written and directed by Richard Bartlett. Bartlett cowrote the original story with Norman Jolley, who appears in the film as Gruber. Bartlett coproduced the film with actors Earle Lyon and Ian MacDonald, who played Ben and Jud Ivers. MacDonald, incidentally, played the Sundance Kid in THE TEXAS RANGERS (1951), seen last weekend.
TWO-GUN LADY goes on my list of "B" Western winners. I'd love to know if anyone else finds it as much fun to watch as I did!