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GLENN FORD IN GEORGE MARSHALL'S WESTERN 'THE SHEEPMAN'

Title: THE SHEEPMAN Year: 1958 Rating: ****

George Marshall's THE SHEEPMAN could have been a genuine satire, deliberately playing upon Western tropes as "stranger in town" Glenn Ford knows there's always the expository-spouting "cracker barrel philosopher" (Edgar Buchanan); the brawling bully everyone fears (Mickey Shaughnessy); and Leslie Neilsen as the powerful yet sophisticated villain, an old acquaintance of Ford's Jason Sweet about to marry local tomboy Shirley MacClaine.

Co-written by William Bowers, THE SHEEPMAN resembles his later SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF with a resilient sharpshooter who, no matter what's thrown at him, from fists to bullets, deals with cowboys protecting their cattle with the prospect of sheep... 

Shirley MaClaine and Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN

The only real flaw is both THE SHEEPMAN movie and character doesn't always take itself/himself completely serious. Then again, like James Garner in SHERIFF, it's practically an unflappable superhero Western flick, so why worry? 

That's left to everyone he's conning or, in headstrong-stubborn MacClaine's case, romancing... And yet, even for a picture that toys with so many purposeful clich├ęs (including a finale HIGH NOON style showdown with future BONANZA brother Pernell Roberts), it's never too predictable. 

Leslie Nielsen and Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN
Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN
Edgar Buchanan and Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN
Shirley MaClaine in THE SHEEPMAN
Shirley MaClaine and Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN

The Sheepman Warner Archive Blue Cover
Pernell Roberts in THE SHEEPMAN
Pernell Roberts in THE SHEEPMAN with Glenn Ford
Glenn Ford in THE SHEEPMAN
Pernell Roberts in THE SHEEPMAN

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