Top Gun (1955 film)

Top Gun
Directed by Ray Nazarro
Produced by Edward Small
Screenplay by Steve Fisher
Richard Schayer
Story by Steve Fisher
Starring Sterling Hayden
William Bishop
Music by Irving Gertz
Cinematography Lester White
Edited by Henry Adams
Dwright Caldwell
Edward Small Productions
Fame Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • December 1955 (1955-12)
Running time
74 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Top Gun is a 1955 Western film about an ex-gunslinger (Sterling Hayden) who arrives in a small town warning of an impending attack by his old gang. The film features Rod Taylor in one of his first American roles.[1]


Rick Martin returns home to Casper, Wyoming, where he is unwanted. A grave marker beside his mother's has Rick's name on it, and the town council orders Rick to leave town by midnight. Rick informs townspeople that outlaw Tom Quentin's gang is on its way, but his warnings go unheeded.

Rick still has friends in town, including Marshal Bat Davis and hotel owner Jim O'Hara. He rides to former sweetheart Laura Mead's ranch to ask her to marry him and move to California, but she is engaged to a wealthy council member, Canby Judd.

Rick learns his mother was cheated out of her ranch by Judd and murdered by him. After a fistfight, Judd hires gunfighter Lem Sutter to ambush Rick, but when Sutter ends up dead, Bat has no choice but to place Rick under arrest. Bat tries to head off Quentin on the trail, but is shot. Townspeople now beg Rick for help. He is able to kill Quentin in a fair fight, and Laura does likewise to Judd when he tries to shoot Rick in the back. Rick and Laura pack up and leave for California.



Filming started June 1955.[2]

Female lead Karin Booth was married to the grandson of Allan Pinkerton—founder of the world-famous Pinkerton Detective Agency—and producer Edward Small announced plans to star her as a female Pinkerton detective, but no film seems to have resulted.[3]

See also


  1. Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, Bear Manor Media 2010 p 50
  2. Hayden Next Will Star in Top Gun: Cole Porter 'Wonderland' Readying Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Mar 1955: B9.
  3. Pinkerton Production on Hot Slate; 'Hired Guns' Speeds Project Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 June 1955: 19.

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