Clint Tollinger (Robert Mitchum) only planned to ride through, well after taking care of a bit of personal business. That business is Nelly Bain (Jan Sterling) who runs the girls at the Palace, the town's saloon, as Nelly happens to be Clint's estranged wife. But Clint happens to be a town tamer, a man known for curing sick towns when the sickness is the curse of gun men and corrupt businessman. With the town unable to cope with the henchmen belonging to Dade Holman the town turn to Clint to bring an end to their troubles. Trouble is are the town prepared for Clint's sort of cure?
There are various things going on in "Man with the Gun" from what drove Nelly to leave Clint to the lives of various characters in this troubled town such as Stella and her husband to be Jeff who believes he should stand up for himself rather than rely on others. But of course what really drives "Man with the Gun" is the character of Clint, this seemingly peaceful man who many have heard of when it comes to his methods of cleaning up a town. What we watch is how amazingly this calm man turns in to a violent beast with a dark side which would terrify many a man. And that begins to answer the questions when it comes to his wife.
The thing is that whilst "Man with the Gun" relies heavily on the constantly solid performance from Robert Mitchum who frankly delivers what he delivered in many a western there are some smaller things which make this movie. For one we have the kids sitting around on the streets having heard of Tollinger and look on at him as some sort of hero. But then you have the businessman who want his help but fear his help will kill the town with their businesses ending up dead because of his violent ways. It makes for an interesting backdrop to this violent drama.
Aside from Robert "Mr. Reliable" Mitchum the rest of the cast deliver solid and acceptable western performances. You have older actors delivering the sort of wiry performance lush in character whilst you then have the likes of Karen Sharpe delivering fresh faced enthusiasm which brings a pleasant level of youthful naivety and innocence to her character.
What this all boils down to is that "Man with the Gun" is an enjoyably dark, moody western built around a character who seems peaceful and business like but slowly evolves to show his darker side.