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The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 10 July 1968 (USA)
A pardoned stagecoach robber, becomes government agent and marries a naive unsuspecting east-coast dentist in order to join a wagon train and catch the smugglers who have been selling guns to the Indians.


Alan Rafkin


James Fritzell (screenplay) (as Jim Fritzell), Everett Greenbaum (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Knotts ... Jesse W. Heywood
Barbara Rhoades ... Penelope Cushings
Jackie Coogan ... Basch
Don 'Red' Barry ... Rev. Zachary Gant (as Donald Barry)
Ruth McDevitt ... Olive
Frank McGrath ... Mr. Remington
Terry Wilson ... Welsh
Carl Ballantine ... Swanson
Pat Morita ... Wong
Robert Yuro ... Arnold the Kid
Herb Voland ... Dr. Friedlander (as Herbert Voland)
Fay DeWitt ... Violet
Dub Taylor ... Pop McGovern
Hope Summers ... Celia
Dick Wilson ... Indian Chief


Jesse W. Haywood graduates from dental school in Philadelphia in 1870 and goes west "to fight oral ignorance." Meanwhile stagecoach robber Penelope "Bad Penny" Cushing is offered a pardon if she will track down a ring of gun smugglers. She tricks the bungling Haywood into a fictitious marriage as a disguise, and he becomes the heroic "Doc the Haywood" after he guns down "Arnold the Kid" and performs other exploits with Penny's help (unbeknown to him or anyone else). Written by Doug Shafer <dsshafer@uncc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He knows trouble when he flees it. See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Dr. Haywood has the same first name as actor Don Knotts. Both are named Jesse. See more »


When Heywood is walking his horse through the desert going after Penny, there is a canteen hanging from the saddle. The camera goes up to the sun. When it points at the saddle again, there is no canteen and Heywood starts saying, "Water!" See more »


Jesse Heywood: [to the barkeep] Brush your dentist twice a day, visit your toothbrush once a year.
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Remake of The Paleface (1948) See more »


The Shakiest Gun in the West
Words and Music by Jerry Keller and Dave Blume
Sung by The Wilburn Brothers
Courtesy Decca Records
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User Reviews

wacky comedy western starring Don Knotts
1 April 2009 | by disdressed12See all my reviews

Don Knotts star in this wacky comedy/western.Knotts plays a Philadelphia Dentist who head west to bring oral hygiene.he gets more than he bargained for,in the process.Dr. Jesse Heywood's penchant for being timid nervous,and bumbling provide some pretty funny moments.Knotts is pretty funny here,but i really Barbara Rhoades as Penny.i loved her spunky,and her take no guff attitude.she is the perfect foil for Knott's Zaniness.while this movie won't change your life,it should make you laugh.even if it wasn't funny,i think it would still work as just a western.for me,The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 7/10

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Release Date:

10 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shakiest Gun in the West See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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