The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)
Gun and the Cross

Nomination Year: 2011
SYNOPSIS:  This movie is full of "the guy who" and "that guy whose face I recognize from ... where?" Plus it also features Slim Pickens and Marjoe Gortner. Our old pal Marjoe is Ernie Parsons, a gunfighter who's only one step ahead of a murderous posse. In the high desert, he comes across the corpse of a preacher that was recently murdered. He takes the preacher's clothing and horse, and rides on to the town where the preacher was headed. That town is under siege by a rich rancher who is ruling it like his own private fiefdom. This rubs Ernie raw, especially when he sees the attractive eighteen-year-old girl that's being run out of town (along with her younger siblings and recently-widowed mother). He convinces the girl's mother to stay, and faces down the rancher. In the process, he does preach several sermons (that Marjoe can preach) ... with his gun on his pulpit.

Deus Ex Machina

God says, "Nope."
Ernie is facing off with another gunfighter. They both have heard of each other, and they know that only one of them will be leaving the town's main street alive. They face off ... the crowd holds its breath ... someone flips a coin into the air ... when the coin lands, both men draw guns and fire!

The wind blows. The crowd watches. No one moves. "Are you hit?" asks Ernie. "Nope," says the other gunfighter. "You?" "Nope." Neither of them has ever missed from this distance before. No one in the crowd saw what happened to the bullets. Ernie is willing to give it another go, but the other gunfighter decides that this is a sign from God, and so he's just going to rid on out of town, peaceful-like.

Best One-Liner

In five years, he will have been a saint. St Drunkard.
Ernie has been strung up by a posse. Ernie protests his innocence. The leader of the posse says, "You gunned down one of our most beloved and respected citizens." Ernie replies, "I heard he was the town drunk." The posse leader takes off his hat. "Well, now that he's dead, he was one of our most beloved and respected citizens...."

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Marjoe Gortner Preacher turned actor, his blond, curly head pops up in a lot of Bad Movies. 
Slim Pickens is he more memorable as "Taggart" in Blazing Saddles or riding that nuclear bomb like it was a horse in Dr. Strangelove....? I don't know, but I like to remember him as the voice of "Bob" in The Black Hole 
Geoffrey Lewis Clint-Eastwood-film regular and father of Juliette Lewis 
Jeff Corey when blacklisted after refusing to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, he became one of the country's top acting teachers 
Robert Phillips bodyguard for Adlai Stevenson 
Melanie Fullerton  
Charles Young also did stunts on Beastmaster 2 
Director Claim to Fame
Daniel Petrie among many other film and television projects, directed Sybil 

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2014 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.