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A Lawless Street (1955)

Passed | | Western | 15 December 1955 (USA)
A Marshal must face unpleasant facts about his past when he attempts to run a criminal gang out of town.

Director:

Joseph H. Lewis

Writers:

Kenneth Gamet (screenplay), Brad Ward (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Randolph Scott ... Marshal Calem Ware
Angela Lansbury ... Tally Dickenson
Warner Anderson ... Hamer Thorne
Jean Parker ... Cora Dean
Wallace Ford ... Dr. Amos Wynn
John Emery ... Cody Clark
James Bell ... Asaph Dean
Ruth Donnelly ... Molly Higgins
Michael Pate ... Harley Baskam
Don Megowan ... Dooley Brion
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Dingo Brion
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Storyline

The marshal of Medicine Bend is tired and alone. Tired of killing to keep himself from being killed; alone because of an unspoken past disappointment. The realisation that someone in town is paying to have him killed and the arrival with a show troupe of the special someone from the past coincide to force more than one type of showdown. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only the brave or crazy cross the lawless street ... or the Marshall of Medicine Bend ! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

15 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marshal of Medicine Bend See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The men's hairstyles are those of the 1050s when the film was made, rather than those of the 1870s/1880s when the film was set. See more »

Quotes

Marshal Calem Ware: Men, Cody Clark is buying drinks. He won all bets.
Cody Clark: That's right. Drinks are on the house...and everybody is welcomed!
Marshal Calem Ware: You can also take up a collection for burying Dingo. Add this
[money]
Marshal Calem Ware: to it.
Cody Clark: That's right nice of you Calem. Funny how a man softens to another when once he's killed him.
Marshal Calem Ware: I don't know about that. I'd do as much if it were your funeral.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worthwhile Western
15 July 2001 | by abooboo-2See all my reviews

Sort of an early "Unforgiven" in some ways. Also similar to director Lewis' "Terror in a Texas Town" though thankfully not as goofy or campy. You get a real sense of the wild west slowly being tamed, of it making the uneasy transition from a violent, lawless land to a reasonably civilized place where law and order stand a chance. I liked Randolph Scott's metaphor for the town, that it's like a wild animal that keeps getting kicked, and sooner or later it's going to do more than just snarl and growl miserably; it's going to bite back.

Scott makes a good, twinkle-eyed loner hero and Angela Lansbury is quite attractive as his leggy showgirl love interest, (though she would begin playing mothers of grown children just a few years later) but their romance is rather obligatory and uninspired. Both the villains are effective, Warner Anderson as the unscrupulous (what else?)womanizing businessman and Michael Pate as the sinister gloved gunman (Lewis seems to have a thing about gunman wearing gloves). Anderson's line deliveries are extremely flat and matter of fact, which just makes him that much more detestable somehow. He's like a greed machine, no heart, no emotion whatsoever.

At first glance this may seem like no more than just another passable western, but it's got some meat on its bones. And Lewis really shines when it comes to building the suspense leading up to the inevitable bar room showdown between the bad guy and the good.


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