Preston's Saving Sunday for Church
Despite everyone saying no Sister Dulcina (Patty Duke) plans to take a group of orphan Apache kids to the town of Columbine to set up an orphanage in an abandoned church. But it isn't a journey she can undertake on her own which is why she has written to old gunfighter Ben Sunday (Robert Preston) who shows up with his nephew, Jason (David Knell), unaware of what the job is. Despite now being one for children Ben ends up agreeing to help out. In Columbine they discover the old church is no longer abandoned and gun slinger Jack Brian (Christopher Lloyd) is using the place as a saloon. But that isn't going to stop Sister Dulcina as she works out a plan to get the old church back.
Within minutes of "September Gun" starting it becomes apparent that this made for TV western relies on its stars and for a while it works. Watching Robert Preston playing a long in the tooth, semi cantankerous gun slinger with a constant sense of straight talking wit to everything he says is amusing as you get a sense that his attitude is intentional to get a rise out of those he deals with. But you get the same with Patty Duke who as Sister Dulcina is not only one attractive nun but also one who amuses for having to be so contrary. And yes put these two characters together and there is a lot of amusement with some good supporting performances as well.
The trouble with "September Gun" is that after a while you want something more than just Robert Preston playing it comically cantankerous and Patty Duke playing it stubborn and sadly nothing comes. Yes there are those supporting performances but when it comes to the storyline it doesn't come up with anything and so relies even more on Preston and Duke to make each scene amusing which they do their best with.
What this all boils down to is that "September Gun" certainly starts off entertaining but the longer it goes on the sadly less entertaining it becomes with it becoming obvious that it relies heavily on Robert Preston and Patty Duke to make it work. And truth be told if it wasn't for the fact they both do such a good job "September Gun" would have been a slog from start to finish.