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A Bullet Is Waiting

A Bullet Is Waiting is a 1954 American Technicolor film noir crime film directed by John Farrow and starring Jean Simmons, Rory Calhoun, Stephen McNally and Brian Aherne.[1]

A Bullet Is Waiting
Directed byJohn Farrow
Produced byHoward Welsch
Screenplay byThames Williamson
Casey Robinson
StarringJean Simmons
Rory Calhoun
Stephen McNally
Brian Aherne
Music byDimitri Tiomkin
CinematographyFranz Planer
Edited byOtto Ludwig
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 4, 1954 (1954-09-04) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
82 minutes
CountryUnited States



A small plane carrying Frank Munson and a handcuffed prisoner, Ed Stone, crashes in the California wilderness. Ed knocks out Frank, unlocks the cuffs and flees, coming upon a woman called Cally tending to sheep, seemingly by herself in a remote cabin.

Frank follows and identifies himself as a Utah lawman who after tracking Ed for nearly two years finally caught up with him. Cally is hesitant to trust either stranger. She is an educated woman whose father, a former college professor, is living with her but is currently away.

As a torrential rain falls, Ed attempts to escape, but the passage is flooded. Cally tries to warn him, but pulls a knife when Ed tries to kiss her. At the cabin, Frank has no weapon and searches for a rifle Cally has hidden. Ed returns and, while trapped there during the storm, explains to Cally that he shot Frank's brother in self-defense, whereupon Frank had himself deputized but intends to kill him rather than bring him to justice.

Cally's father returns and is startled to find two men there. He hears their stories and, aware that his daughter is falling in love with Ed, offers him a chance to turn himself in to other authorities. With a gun in his hand and a single bullet in the chamber, Ed proves his intent by refusing to shoot Frank when he has the chance. He sets off to surrender himself to the actual police.



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