My favorite movie of 2019 was Jojo Rabbit. I found it irresistibly sweet and hilarious and it was just a really nice movie. The best film I saw last year, though, was a 1958 western starring Van Heflin and Tab Hunter called Gunman’s Walk. I caught it at the New Beverly Cinema out here in L.A. and in a way, it felt like it could have been made yesterday. It was still a 1950’s western, but it was one of the most scathing portraits of toxic masculinity I’ve ever seen, a theme that felt unusual for a movie from that time. The plot is well worn old western territory as it’s about a good son, and a bad son, and their father; and the bad son, played by Tab Hunter, does bad things and Van Heflin, the dad, eventually has to kill him after having made excuses for him for years. It did an impressive job of showing how bad men are the product of many generations of bad men. Highly recommended. In the middle of it, Tab sits down at a piano in a saloon and croons this charming song which became a minor hit for him. He was never the greatest actor with a career largely based on good looks, but he gives a crackerjack performance in this one. And he had a pretty good singing voice.
Tab Hunter – I’m a Runaway