What do you do when you’re…GUNLESS?

An outlaw calls a man out for tampering with his horse – only to find out there’s nary a pistol in town.  You can’t have a showdown with an unarmed man!  This north of the border Wild West tale had me in stitches!

I love Paul Gross.  Love him.  I loved him in Due South and I was so impressed with Passchendaele (despite the Oscar ending rather than the Hollywood ending, and yes, I’m still bitter about that).  So when I heard that he was in a new movie – and that he played an outlaw – I knew that I had to see it.  So one afternoon my writer friend Julianne MacLean and I headed to the theatre to sneak in a matinee.

Gross plays The Montana Kid, who after a failed attempt at being hanged (never hang a man from a dead tree branch) ends up in Barclay’s Brush.  He doesn’t realize he’s crossed the border into Canada, and his mere presence puts the town’s residents (all dozen or so of them) in a state of excitement.  Within minutes he’s challenged the town smithy to a shootout – except Mr. Montana Kid has the only pistol in town.  Well, almost.  You see, the widow Jane has a pistol.  It’s broken, but wouldn’t you know it’s the blacksmith that sets out to fix it.  In the meantime, Jane exchanges the pistol for some hard labour on the farm.  The Montana Kid is dirty.  I mean really dirty.  And he’s rough around the edges.  And of course, there’s a bounty on him.   

It has all the making of a gritty western, but it’s not.  It’s firmly tongue in cheek.  If there’s one thing we seem to be able to do in Canada, it’s not take ourselves too seriously.  So when the Kid gets cleaned up, it’s hard not to snicker when he reappears from the Chinese laundry wearing this:

It takes a special kind of man to get away with that particular shade of purple.  And silk. Especially with the long hair. 

Come to find out his real name is Sean, and this hardened outlaw is no match for Jane, played by Sienna Guillory.  Add in the town doctor, who is very adept at removing bullets from posteriors, an unflappable Indian (played by the always wonderful Graham Greene) and a host of Mounties (including one particularly fresh-faced man in red serge who is quite sweet on Jane as well) and there are some true gems.  We have horses and donkeys, a sweet school marm and a pair of bumbling “boys” quite awestruck at having a real live outlaw in their midst.

And yes – we must get back to the baddie.  I was thrilled to see that Callum Keith Rennie was playing Ben Cutler.  I like Callum a lot – most recently as Leoben in Battlestar Galactica and as Lew Ashby in Californication. 

It goes without saying that two things needed to happen in this movie – there has to be a shootout, and the guy has to get the girl.

Check out the trailer if you don’t believe me. I guarantee you’ll have a giggle!

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39 thoughts on “What do you do when you’re…GUNLESS?”

  1. Perfect review, Donna! And thanks for being my matinee partner that day. I just watched the trailer and it made me want to see it AGAIN. I may have to purchase the DVD when it comes out :).

  2. I only wish I’d had more time that day Julianne, so we might have made it lunch or coffee as well as the movie!

    Thanks for popping in, Anne and Julia!

  3. Thanks for this review! Paul Gross is talented, charming, and gorgeous! That innocent, sly face ; ) My mom and I loved Due South–can’t keep a good Mountie down! I also like Callum Keith Rennie. I first saw him act as one of Paul’s costars on Due South. Also costarring on Due South was Dean McDermott, now most famous for being married to Tori Spelling.

  4. HiDonna,

    Wish I’d seen the movie! I love Paul Gross – and you are right, he does make that purple silk look pretty darn good. Will have to look for it on DVD.


  5. So is this an independent film? There really, really, really should be a resurgence in westerns!

    Loved Due South too!

    Thanks for starting off my Monday well!

  6. Ginger, I totally forgot that CKR was on Due South! Doh!

    I know Julianne has seen Men With Brooms with Paul Gross…I haven’t seen it yet but I’d like to. I think Leslie Nielsen is in it.

    Pam – have you recovered from last week? I hope you had a quiet, relaxing weekend!

    Julie – yeah, it’s an Alliance Atlantis film but got some help from the national film board here in Canada.

  7. Men With Brooms is very good. Leslie Nielsen–another innocent, sly face! Leslie is so delightfully deadpan funny that we forget he was a handsome leading man in his younger days! I also think he’s a silver fox–wonderful voice and beautiful blue eyes! He’s wicked good : ) Also costarring in Men With Brooms is the wonderful Peter Outerbridge–so talented and attractive! Peter costars with Jennifer Beals in one of my favorite quirky romances, “My Name Is Sarah” : )

  8. Don’t go to movies often as I would rather read a book, but you have made this one sound like one I want to see! Thank you for sharing with us.

  9. Donna, I loved Due South and was devastated when it got canceled. Paul Gross was awesome in the role of a Canadian Mountie. Wish I could find some reruns of it somewhere. And thanks for telling about the western movie he’s in. I’m definitely going to watch for it in this area.

    On another note, I caught the ad on TV about another new western coming to the big screen. If I remember right, it’s called “Jonah Hex” and stars Josh Brolin. It releases toward the end of June. Looks real good and it’s rated PG which is always a plus.

  10. Due South was one of my favorite shows ever. I loved Paul Gross. I am now crazy to see this. One of my daughters was a huge Paul Gross fan, too. We watched it together.

    I’ve got to find this.

  11. Yikes, I’ve never heard of Paul Gross or Due South or Gunless either. I remember a great series years ago called Bordertown where a Mountie and a US Sheriff had to govern a town split between the two countries. I’m gonna look for this one.

    Great blog, Donna…learned something new!

  12. thanks for sharing donna!
    fun to get a movie review!
    sounds like one worth checking out…i’m picky about movies as i tend to be a bit ADD and it seems like this one would keep my attention

  13. Connie and Quilt Lady – I hardly EVER go to the movies. I hate people talking or shoving on my seat etc. especially after I’ve shelled out money! The day Julianne and I went, there was hardly anyone in the theatre. But most of the time, I use the on-demand feature with our cable, kick back in my recliner with some popcorn and a glass of wine and just CHILL. It’s especially good if I have on my fleece comfy jammies. Now THAT’S what I call a movie experience.

    I think the last movie we saw in the theatre was the 6th Harry Potter – quite a while ago.

  14. Linda, Mary, Bev, and Winnie – ahhh, fellow Gross fans. And Bev I see we are of the same opinion re: the ending of Passchendaele. Grrrr.

    The supporting cast in this is just a hoot, by the way.

  15. Due South was so funny. A Canadian Mountie working with a Chicago Police Detective. And the Mountie, Paul Gross is just perfect.
    Clean, polite, strong, always dressed perfectly in his uniform.
    The Chicago cop is a mess, rude, dressed like a street bum most of the time. Foul mouthed, bends all the rules.
    The two of them are such perfect foils for each other, they both think the other is just an idiot.
    It’s hilarious.
    And an interesting secondary fact. The show ran for…a while, a year or two or three, then it got cancelled and Paul Gross took it over and did another few years of it. He produced and directed. I don’t know if it was in Canada or on cable, before I had cable….

    But we saw the re-runs and the show goes from this American sensibility, where the Mountie is a dope more concerned with keeping his suit clean than catching criminals (all done very lightly and with a lot of respect for Paul Gross’s mountie character) to this Canadian sensibility, where the Mountie is the sensible one and the Chicago cop is just a pig.

    If you know to watch for it, you can see the difference. We loved both versions.

  16. Donna, so true, we Canadians do NOT take ourselves seriously, probably why so many comedians come from our country! I Love Paul Gross!! He has been given a lot of opportunities to go south of the border to make his fame and fortune, but Paul said, “Nope I’m staying here in Canada.” Kudos to Paul! Thanks for the info on the movie, and loved the trailer! Paul is one handsome dude.

  17. Wow Donna! Sounds like a crazy movie — love Westerns — even if they’re in Canada. 🙂

  18. Oh, Donna! Donna, Donna, Donna! I hurt, my rib
    section just hurts! From all the laughing! I
    watched the trailer twice and just cracked up! I called Honey away from his computer to watch with
    me for a third time! He totally agreed with me
    that this is a film that we have to see! If not
    in a theater, then here at home! Thanks for the
    trailer and for the introduction to Paul Gross!

    Pat Cochran

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