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511 - Gunslinger
Air Date October 9, 1993
MST3K Director Joel Hodgson
Movie Director Roger Corman
Year 1957
Cast John Ireland
Beverly Garland
Allison Hayes
Jonathan Haze
Bruno VeSota
Preceded by 510 - The Painted Hills
Followed by 512 - Mitchell

"Only the good die young."

"Most of us are morally ambiguous, which explains our random dying patterns."

  — Cain and Servo

The Movie




After her husband Scott (William Schallert), the sheriff of Oracle, is killed by two assailants, his widow Rose (Beverly Garland) is named temporary sheriff. That night, Rose asks Erica Page (Allison Hayes) if she can close her saloon in accordance with town regulations. The women fight, but eventually Erica closes for the night. After Rose exits, Erica tells lackey Jake (Jonathan Haze) to hire a killer, which he does, finding a man named Cane Miro (John Ireland). As Cane enters town, Rose shoots at him, mistaking him for a man she has been searching out. She apologizes. Cane tells Rose that he is going to Oracle to see town mayor Gideon Polk (Martin Kingsley).

Cane enters Erica's saloon, where Polk has been telling her that she has overextended herself by buying property along a proposed railroad track. Cane confronts him until Erica requests he stop. Erica reveals that Rose is the woman who she paid Cane to kill; however, if the proposed railroad track is a success, she admits that Rose may not have to die.

Rose follows Cane as he exits town. When he stops so she can catch up, they talk and eventually kiss. Jake watches and reports to Erica, who becomes irate. She demands he kill Rose immediately. Cane reminds her that they cannot change the deal they made. Cane later explains to Rose that Polk had been his commander at a battle which could have been a victory but that Polk ran, depressing his men, who were later decimated. Rose makes Cane promise not to harm Polk, but still has Polk placed in protective custody.



Cane becomes intoxicated. Erica enters his room, and Jake, who has been spying, sees the two kiss, but leaves before he sees Cane reject Erica. An embarrassed Erica orders Cane to kill Rose no matter what. When she returns to her saloon, Jake slaps her. Jake goes to Rose's office and tells her everything he knows. Back at the saloon, Jake draws a gun on Cane, who kills him. Rose does not arrest him as Erica claimed it was self-defense.

After receiving a letter from the Pony Express, informing her that the railroad will not be built, Erica rides into town, with the intent of Cane killing Rose. Deputy Joshua Tate (Chris Alcaide) is killed when he confronts them. Cane goes after Polk, killing his wife when she shields him. Cane then shoots and kills Polk. Rose enters town and Erica aims at her, but Erica is shot by Cane before she can pull the trigger. Rose and Cane exchange fire. After he is shot, Cane asks if Rose loved him, and she replies that she did. Cane is fatally wounded, and Rose rides out of Oracle, declaring she will never come back.[1]


  • Production of the film was plagued by misfortune. John Ireland and Beverly Garland were attacked by red ants during their romantic tree-sitting scene. Allison Hayes fell off her horse and broke her arm. Later, Beverly twisted her ankle and it became so swollen that her boot had to be cut off. The weather itself was even uncooperative, raining so much that many scenes had to be rewritten to be indoors, while others were shot outdoors under a tarp, and in either case making things muddy enough to make filming difficult. Corman wound up having to extend the film's intended six day shooting schedule to seven days, which he later recalled as the only time he ever had to go over schedule.
  • The interior of the saloon was also used for Scroop's Inn in Corman's The Undead.
  • William Schallert, who plays Beverly's husband (the sheriff who is killed at the beginning of the movie), is well-known to TV audiences for his roles as the father on The Patty Duke Show and as Dobie's high school teacher on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
  • The Battle of Lookout Mountain was an actual historical event. It was a decisive victory for the North, allowing them to break a siege on Union forces in the city of Chattanooga, and use it to stage attacks further into the Deep South.  It's description in this film is of questionable accuracy.

The Episode

Host Segments


Gypsy, Joel, and Crow play "Kaboom" with Tom’s head

Prologue: Gypsy, Joel, and Crow play "Kaboom" with Tom’s head, which has been replaced with a balloon hooked up to a pump.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Servo's massively swollen head now holds all of the knowledge of man, but all he can do with it is wonder why Manimal was canceled so soon. Dr. F presents The Scanner Planner, inspired by the Scanners movie series, which he proceeds to try out on Frank. Joel and the Bots have new wiffle products: the wiffle cup, wiffle hat, wiffle Claude Akins, etc. Dr. F's scanning causes Tom's balloon head to explode.


The Scanner Planner

Segment Two: Tom, Crow, and Joel are resting in caskets to see what it’s like to be dead. Even though they're never going to die, the Bots discuss what kind of funeral they’d like to have. Tom wants his friends to toss him up and down in a blanket at his funeral. Crow wants a beach funeral, although his first choice is to be mummified and placed next to Joseph Stalin.

Segment Three: Tom sends Joel a message about what he wants for lunch using Gypsy Express, with Crow as the rider and Gypsy as the pony, despite the fact that Tom and Joel are standing a mere 3 feet apart.


Tom and Joel in resting caskets

Segment Four: Tom demonstrates quantum linear super-position so that Joel and Crow will understand how John Ireland is able to go into the attorney’s office and immediately end up on his horse on the street. He also warps time and space at will.

Segment Five: Since Roger Corman made the 1870’s seems so dismal, Joel and the bots discuss how dreadful the 1970’s were. The Bots have deep fried the letters, but Joel is able to read one anyway. Back in Deep 13, Dr. F finally succeeds in working his scanning skill on Frank.

Stinger: Saloon dancing girl: "What about our clothes?"


  • The sound effect used when Dr. Forrester is trying to "scan" Frank is the same sound used for Brain Guy sending the movie in the later seasons.
  • Last episode directed by Joel Hodgson.
  • Goof: Gypsy blows a line in the opening segment but they keep going.


Obscure References

  • You're a man playing a woman, playing a man
Summarizing the theme of the musical Victor Victoria.
  • Who shot Vivian Valance?
Reference to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Vivian Vance.
  • Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, Riding through the glades...
A reference to a Monty Python sketch about a Robin Hood-like character.
  • "With Red Buttons to watch Red Dwarf."
Red Buttons was an American actor and comedian. Red Dwarf is a British sitcom about a group of misfit space travelers.
  • "Why did they cancel Manimal?"
Manimal was an action-adventure show which ran on NBC for 8 episodes in 1983.
  • "Been a long time." "Been a long, long, long, long, lonely time."
Quoting lyrics from the Led Zeppelin song "Rock and Roll".
  • "You're not bad." "You're just drawn that way."
Alluding to a line spoken by Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Actual Line: "I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way.")
  • "And the Vikings would have finally captured a Super Bowl title."
Prior to this episode, the Minnesota Vikings were in four Super Bowls and won none of them. Their last Super Bowl game was in 1977 where they lost 14-32 against the Oakland Raiders. They have yet to play in another Championship game.
  • "Oh look they have a Fotomat back there." "Yeah and it's saying "Ohhhh Noooooo!!"
Fotomats were small kiosks where people could drop their cameras off to get photos developed. They've become more sparse as digital cameras and online photo editing became more prevalent. "Ohhhh Noooooo!!" was the catch phrase of the often mutilated clay figure from Saturday Night Live Mr. Bill.
  • "And all that glitters is gold...."
Crow is reciting some lyrics from Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

Video Release

  • Gunslingervhs

    MST3K Gunslinger DVD

    The episode was released on VHS in 1998 by Rhino.
  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2004 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6, a 4-DVD set with Teenagers from Outer Space, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Mr. B's Lost Shorts.

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