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A Bullet Is Waiting (1954) Online

A Bullet Is Waiting (1954) Online
Original Title :
A Bullet Is Waiting
Genre :
Movie / Crime / Drama / / Thriller
Year :
Directror :
John Farrow
Cast :
Rory Calhoun,Jean Simmons,Stephen McNally
Writer :
Casey Robinson,Thames Williamson
Type :
Time :
1h 30min
Rating :
A Bullet Is Waiting (1954) Online

A policeman and his prisoner survive the crash of the plane in the mountains in which they were traveling. They seek shelter in the lonely hut of a man and his daughter...
Complete credited cast:
Rory Calhoun Rory Calhoun - Ed Stone
Jean Simmons Jean Simmons - Cally Canham
Stephen McNally Stephen McNally - Sheriff Munson
Brian Aherne Brian Aherne - David Canham

User reviews




A small aircraft crashes just off the coast and two men manage to escape the wreckage and reach shore. The two, Stephen McNally and Rory Calhoun, though hand-cuffed together, engage in a good down and dirty kick and stomp fistfight. Calhoun gets the upper hand, gets the cuffs off and heads inland.

Just off the beach he runs into Jean Simmons, who with the help of a rifle, asks Calhoun what he is doing on her land. McNally, who has suffered a broken leg during the fight hobbles on to the scene. He informs Simmons that he is cop, and Calhoun a prisoner being taken in on murder charges.

Simmons takes the pair to a small isolated sheep ranch were her father, Brian Aherne, and herself live. They must stay for several days since a recent storm has wiped out the only road to town. While McNally is laid up, Calhoun starts putting the moves on Simmons hoping she will help him escape.

Simmons falls hard for the smooth talking Calhoun and the tension begins to build. It turns out that Calhoun is charged with the murder of McNally's brother. McNally just wants some revenge and hopes to bump off Calhoun when he tries his escape. Does Calhoun make his break?

A couple of weak points in the story are covered up nicely by director Farrow's always reliable hand.

A good looking film with five time Oscar nominated, Franz Planer handling the cinematography. Planer is well known to noir fans for his work on, THE LONG WAIT, 99 RIVER STREET, THE SCARF, 711 OCEAN DRIVE, CHAMPION, THE CHASE and CRISS CROSS. He also was the d of p on BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS, THE CAINE MUTINY, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, ROMAN HOLIDAY and THE BIG COUNTRY.

Nice timewaster.


A rich Utah landowner (Stephen McNalley) deputizes himself in order to bring back to justice the person (Rory Calhoun) who killed his brother. Was it murder or self defense? The viewer thinks all along that McNalley is a real lawman until we find out who he really is, which changes the dynamics a bit. The plane they're traveling in crashes somewhere on the central California coast and Calhoun manages to get away, though there really is no place to escape to in the isolated setting, especially since it's beginning to rain and all the passes get washed out. Along shows up the daughter (Jean Simmons) of a sheep rancher (Brian Ahearn)and her dog (Lassie?). McNalley and Calhoun both try to convince her of who is right, though she falls for Calhoun, leaving a hobbling McNalley alone in his efforts to return to Utah with Calhoun. The background story of Utah and the rich family against the rebel was at least somewhat more interesting than the story in this movie where Simmons eventually falls for Calhoun, mostly because he puts the make on her, and she, in spite of her intellectual abilities, can't resist the sexual attraction. The return of her father from a week long trip into the nearest town sets up a decent enough ending. The film needed more freedom of sexual expression, or moreso, another script in order to bring off the pent up feelings felt by Simmons, as she's been kept away from all outside contact because she lives with her philosopher father on this out of the way ranch. It (this movie) mostly verges on being fairly bad, but has some inexplicable qualities that compel one to keep on watching and hoping.


A airplane crash leaves Lawman Sheriff Munson (Stephan McNally) and Prisoner Ed Stone (Rory Calhoun) stranded on a Sheep Ranch in the modern (1954) West. Between escape attempts ED makes a play for the beautiful Cally Canham (Jean Simmons) who is holding down the ranch for her Father David (Brian Aherne). MUNSON has a personal grudge against ED, but FATHER David arrives at the close too sort things out and you expect ED and CALLY will eventually get together, nuff said.

Good scenery and interesting casting are the most worthwhile features of this film. Calhoun and McNally seem quite at home in the West, but Aherne and Simmons would seem too be by intellect and temperament more suited for a drawing room. Jean does fill out her 'jeans' quite well and is as sexy in those as any more feminine costume. She would exhibit the same assets in THE BIG COUNTRY (1958). The film is worth watching just for her.


Not a western but an entertaining if improbable drama set in an isolated area in the west. Jean Simmons is full of guarded, wounded vulnerability, a very fine actress. She and Rory Calhoun make a surprisingly simpatico pairing. Stephen McNally's character is rather one note, a more distinctive actor could have perhaps fleshed it out but it doesn't hurt the film. Makes some observations about a man's true nature even if he has committed a criminal act. Brian Donlevy shows up near the end to act as a sort of catalyst for the resolution and is fine as always but the picture could have done without him. Not a classic but a solid film.


John Farrow directed this unusual western about a bounty hunter (STEPHEN McNALLY) and his prisoner (RORY CALHOUN) seeking shelter in a remote cabin owned by JEAN SIMMONS, biding their time until the bad weather passes so that McNally can bring Calhoun to justice for a crime he's committed involving McNally's brother.

Somehow the casting seems adrift. McNally is usually much more at home as a villain and should have played Calhoun's part. And yet, Calhoun and Simmons don't seem like a good match, she being completely out of place in this sort of western and he not convincing enough as the bad man McNally is after.

The storm sequences are well done, the settings are good, and everyone tries hard to keep the melodramatics on a believable level--and most of it works quite well.

BRIAN AHERNE, as Simmons' absent father, only makes an appearance toward the end of the story when his role becomes important in the scheme of things. He too seems oddly out of place in a western.

Despite the flaws, makes an interesting watch.


With that title one would expect either a western, a p.i./cop dark streets noir,or a war drama. Well it's in the West on a sheep ranch and Rory Calhoun is the protagonist. Jean Simmons is there to provide the standard romantic figure but is way too sophisticated to be believed as a outland waif. Stephen McNally like his contemporary Charles McGraw just looks of villainy so its surprising when he carries a badge while Mr. Ahearne like his screen daughter just looks out of place. So one gets a character study instead of a shootalot as the title implies. The actors do the script,the director sees his slide continuing,and the viewer wonders why the title wasn't used by Randolph Scott for one of his Ranown epics.


There is a very good print of this film out on DVD. It is a somewhat odd little film, a modern western, a confined setting, but it does have items of interest. There are only 4 actors in the movie and for most of it, only 3. This creates an interesting dynamic between the players. Then there is the beautiful scenic location, which is not a Hollywood "set", and is excellently photographed. The actors are very watchable, and Simmons and Calhoun make a good couple. This is a passable western, not a great one. The dialogue is okay and did not have many moments to make you wince. The story line is terrific, but there is a lack of real tension that makes the film drag at times. However, the real problem is the ending. It ends a little too pat, a little too safe, a little too Hollywood. Overall it is better than many such B films, and does manage to maintain interest throughout.


Let's see, a father and a daughter in a remote location. They are visited by strangers who arrived their by a transportation accident and stranded by a storm. The daughter falls in love with one of the men. One of the men is from a wealthy community some distance afar. Is this "The Tempest" or is it the prequel to "Forbidden Planet?" Jean Simmons can't help being beautiful even though she lives on a sheep farm in the mountains. Rory Calhoun is fine as an accused murderer. He has that Robert Mitchum style of beast and human schizophrenia. Brian Donlevy is also fine, though his part is brief and yet pivotal to the plot. The dialog is well written, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, a twist emerges.


This is probably as close as you get to Jean Simmons appearing in a Western. Her short haircut makes her look less feminine as opposed to being a tomboy. There's no strength in her, and her English accent is out of place in this gritty world of runaway fugitives.

It looks similar to an episode from 'The Fugitive' where David Janssen is held prisoner by a sheriff whilst trekking through mountainous terrain. I think the episode is called 'Passage to Helena'.

The only notable thing about this film is the score by 60 year old Dimitri Tiomkin. He is fresh from 'Dial M For Murder', and from the opening scene you feel as though you are back in 'Dial M For Murder'. The score isn't that good, but you recognise the composer behind the music. His music sounds the same, and the 1950s was his best period.

Rory Colhoun is not my kind of actor at all.