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A Lawman Is Born (1937)

Passed | | Western | 21 June 1937 (USA)
An outlaw falsely accused of murder realizes the only way to clear himself is to become a lawman.


Sam Newfield


Complete credited cast:
Johnny Mack Brown ... Tom Mitchell
Iris Meredith ... Beth Graham
Warner Richmond ... Kane Briscoe
Mary MacLaren ... Martha Lance
Dick Curtis ... Lefty Drogan
Earle Hodgins ... Sheriff Rock Lance
Charles King ... Bert Moscript
Frank LaRue ... Graham
Al St. John ... Eli Root
Steve Clark ... Sam Brownlee
Jack C. Smith Jack C. Smith ... Ike Manton


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The wanted outlaw Tom Mitchell has put away his guns and now works in Root's store. When Sheriff Lance is killed, Martha Lance gets Tom to take the job. He straps the guns on again but Brownlee arrives and reveals him to be a wanted man. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hit the adventure trail with your hard-hitting, easy-loving Western star!




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Did You Know?


Lefty Drogan: The reward reads "Dead or Alive," jailbird - come tomorrow it will read "Dead."
Tom Mitchell: I want you, Drogan.
Lefty Drogan: An outlaw craves Lefty Drogan? For what? Or is it a secret?
Tom Mitchell: I warned you about laughing at the law. Now pick up or go for your guns!
See more »


Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Unusual Olmstead story played by excellent cast
5 September 2019 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Harry Olmstead is credited with the story, and George Plympton's part in the writing is not explained, but the script for "A Lawman Is Born" seems to bear a lot of the Plympton touch.

There are unusual touches and twists making this B Western several notches above the average, with some of the twists making the viewer wonder just who is the bad guy, and just how good is the good guy.

Sam Newfield outdoes himself with the characterizations of his players, and watching the byplay between and among them is impressive.

Johnny Mack Brown was simply one of the most likable performers, in Westerns or anything else, and as the store clerk pressured to do something about the pending violence, he scores again.

Earl Hodgins gets another chance to be something other than the barker type he did so often, and as usual does it well. He was a very capable actor.

Mary McLaren played the sister of the sheriff, and she nearly stole the whole movie. She has 173 credits here at IMDb, including some classics.

Warner Richmond and Charles King are backed by Dick Curtis, and they make an extraordinary team.

All cast members stand out, but Al St. John was mis-used. He and director Newfield needed tighter control on St. John's characterization, which was just over-done and over the top. But my only complaint.

The fight scenes didn't have the Yakima Canutt quality that would soon become the standard, but they were OK.

I had been discussing some movie remakes that really shouldn't have been made. But "A Lawman Is Born" is one that should be re-made, if we could find good Western performers worthy of the story.

It's not perfect, but I do recommend "A Lawman Is Born," which can be found at YouTube, though in a print that is too dark but bearable.

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Release Date:

21 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Supreme Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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