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Audie Murphy painting, copyright 2010, Dave Phillips. Used with permission. Founded in 1996, this is the official website for Audie Murphy.

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 Post subject: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:12 pm 
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WATCHING THE GUN RUNNERS. I COULD SWEAR THAT HIS BOAT LOOKS LIKE THE S.S. MINNOW FROM A DISTANCE.

HE LOOKS LIKE HE HAD MORE FUN MAKING THIS MOVIE THAN HE HAS ANY OTHERS. I THINK HE DID MORE SMOOCHING IN THIS MOVIE THAN HE DID IN ALL HIS OTHER MOVIES COMBINED! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Some of the behind-the-scenes stories make it sound like he wasn't in great spirits making this film: Don Siegel had enjoyed working with him on Silver Creek but felt nervous of Murphy's temper when filming Gun-Runners, and got kind of worried when Murph and one of the stuntmen had a fistfight over something. Gita Hall claims that he held a gun on her at one point, apparently as a joke. He did have some fun with Jack Elam though, by all accounts.

His performance doesn't reflect any of the conflict though, he's very cocky and chipper, in a "I'm doing this partly to get your goat" way. Kind of like in Ride a Crooked Trail. And he does the "happily married man" with great charm and plausibility. In general, I think Murphy did best either in romances that dealt with pre-existing relationships (here and in Bloody Beach and Bullet for a Badman), or where the romantic leads are attracted to each other and just kind of blunder into acting on the attraction without a lot of forethought (but maybe with a certain amount of hostile bantering, like in Gunsmoke or Crooked Trail). He wasn't that good at portraying romances where there's a lot of dithering and internal conflict about whether the relationship will work or not.


Last edited by Christie on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:59 pm 
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If I'm not mistaken The Gun Runners was made when Audie was having trouble sleeping and was on the prescription medication he was taking. It was said to have made him look like he was drinking, which of course he was not. Anybody know if this is correct or not, or am I just dreaming this? :?

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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:44 am 
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I saw an article (link below) about this on TCM's website. I know there were plenty of bad things in Audie's life that might cause him to act the way they talk about, and there may be some truth to it, but the article does seem slanted against him. Which isn't surprising since I know there were a lot of people in Hollywood that didn't like him.

He manages to say a couple nice things about Audie, but otherwise doesn't paint him in a very good light. I don't know… from what I've read, Audie just seems more professional than this.

Maybe it was just that since Audie didn't really like the Hollywood types, he appeared cold and indifferent to those people… and was more himself with people like Jack Elam. But obviously he did a good job in the movie… and Patricia Owens couldn't have done that for him like the article almost tries to say.

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/2 ... nners.html

And I'm not sure Betty about the timing with the prescription medication… I know I've heard about that though so I don't think you're dreaming it.


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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:50 am 
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And the quote from the article about Audie carrying a gun was interesting:

"...Huston was attracted to Audie Murphy because one could see that he was a 'natural born killer'. Siegel was similarly impressed, when he noticed Murphy casually toting a Colt .45 Peacemaker into a bar:

Siegel: Why the arsenal?
Murphy: You never know when you might need it.
Siegel: You're not expecting trouble?
Murphy: No. (Taking a long sip from his beer.) But if it's coming, I'll blow it away."


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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:07 am 
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Melodie: My initial reaction to that review was "wow, Glenn Erickson just called Audie Murphy a good-looking and likable non-actor; that's really a step up from his opinion of Murph in Duel at Silver Creek!" :lol: :lol: Seriously though, you get a lot of people who just don't like Murphy's screen persona for whatever reason. I spent a very long time having a vaguely favorable opinion of him from Night Passage and I think No Name on the Bullet, and being puzzled as to why the reviews I read were so negative on him. (of course, since there were few Murphy films on tv, and fewer on dvd, I wasn't in a position to find out whether Night Passage and NNOTB were flukes). As for the anecdotes, Don Siegel is either leaving out or unaware of the background of some of the stories he's telling. Rehearsals for Gun-runners were originally held in Murphy's house, because he was recovering from a bad bout of pneumonia. So, his hangups about rehearsing the love scenes with Patricia Owens might have been influenced by concerns about his wife or kids walking in, or him just not feeling well.

As for "expecting trouble in bars"...he was prepared for trouble, because he usually got it whether he wanted it or not. According to one friend of his, every would-be tough guy in LA wanted to take him on, because of his war record and because he didn't look that threatening. Early in his time in Hollywood, he would take those guys on, and fight as ruthlessly as he had to, and generally win. Eventually he just took to carrying a gun and pulling it out to get people to back down when they tried to do that to him. Probably saved his knuckles and the other guy's face a lot of sore spots.

As far as the sleeping pills go, we don't have a real firm timeline on when he was using them. We know Army doctors were the first to prescribe them for him, shortly before his discharge. We're pretty sure he became addicted to them sometime in the sixties. We know he quit by locking himself in a hotel room in 1967 without a pill supply, and enduring the withdrawal symptoms until they stopped. I don't think we know for sure when he started using them in civilian life, although that kind of thing was and is seen as fairly normal in Hollywood so long as you were discreet about it.

On the thing about fighting w/ the stuntman, I just remembered a story I'd forgotten :oops: when I posted last night: he and his stuntman friend Jim Shepherd used to scrap and fight for fun-another friend of theirs said that it looked to people who didn't know them like they were killing each other but they were "just playing."


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 Post subject: Re: GUNRUNNERS
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:41 am 
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Christie wrote:
Melodie: My initial reaction to that review was "wow, Glenn Erickson just called Audie Murphy a good-looking and likable non-actor; that's really a step up from his opinion of Murph in Duel at Silver Creek!"

Ha ha! That review must have been pretty bad. :lol:

Thanks so much Christie for the extra insight into everything. I hoped that if I posted the review here there would be some good background info to shed some light on the subject and you definitely delivered. Totally gives some much needed context. 8)

And that makes perfect sense about why he carried a gun. Who could blame him? To go along with what you said, I remember a quote from the Ben Cooper interview where he mentioned the issue, although this of course was later on: "I asked him one time, I said, 'Is it true that people actually pick on you in a bar or a tavern because you were a hero?' And he said, 'Yeah'. And that’s why he didn’t go out much to where people were drinking because it was just a very sad commentary on some terribly insecure people in this country who felt they should pick on him." Yep... very sad.


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