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The Iron Sheriff (1957)

Passed | | Western | April 1957 (USA)
When the sheriff's son is placed on trial for murdering a stagecoach driver, the sheriff desperately searches for the real killer - and finds the trail leads back to his boy.

Director:

Sidney Salkow

Writer:

Seeleg Lester
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt
Constance Ford ... Claire
John Dehner ... Roger Pollack
Kent Taylor ... Phil Quincy
Darryl Hickman ... Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt
Walter Sande ... Marshal Ellison
Frank Ferguson ... District Attorney Holloway
King Donovan ... Leveret
Mort Mills ... Range Detective Sutherland
Peter Miller ... Jackson Gallagher
Kathleen Nolan ... Kathi Walden (as Kathy Nolan)
I. Stanford Jolley ... Eugene 'Gene' Walden
Will Wright ... Judge
Ray Walker ... Bilson
Robert B. Williams ... Sheriff Joe Tilyou (as Bob Williams)
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Storyline

In 1891, in a small town in South Dakota, a stagecoach is robbed and the driver is killed. A small fortune in silver dollars has disappeared. The only suspect is Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt, the son of Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt. The lad claims he's innocent but circumstances and a few witnesses place him at the scene of the murder-robbery. Heart-broken but honest, Sheriff Galt arrests his own son and prepares for the trial by hiring the best lawyer in the country to defend Benjie. The Sheriff also hires a local detective to investigate the scene of the stagecoach robbery and possibly dig up any new evidence or witnesses to help clear Benjie of the crime. However, when a silver dollar from the stage robbery loot turns up in the local saloon, the trail leads straight to Benjie. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As hot and deadly as the bullets that screamed from his gun! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trial of Benjie Galt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grand Productions (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although shot in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.78:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see it as the director and cinematographer intended. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame would never have been seen by a theater audience. See more »

Goofs

The deduction of the telegrapher's guilt happens totally in private and without spreading the news, yet when they immediately go to the telegraph office to look for the telegrapher, he is already gone, deserting his post for no apparent reason, and when they go to his house he is gone from there also, and when they go to his sister's house looking for him, without even telling her why they are looking for him, after she tells them where he went she begs them not to kill him, but nothing is said that would make her think that they wished him any harm, as they are only looking for him. Nobody tells the telegrapher they know he is guilty, he stays in town through the whole trial, then all of a sudden he just up and takes off and even his sister now knows they want to kill him? See more »

Quotes

Charley - Laundry Owner: Sheriff! Gone! All gone sheriff!
Sheriff Galt: What's all gone?
Charley - Laundry Owner: Money! Money all gone! Stolen!
Sheriff Galt: You kept your money in here?
[looks at wooden box]
Charley - Laundry Owner: Yes.
Sheriff Galt: How much was there?
Charley - Laundry Owner: All! Was going to save to go back to China, Sheriff. In back of ironing board. Nobody bothered. Broke in wash room last night. Just find empty box! Sheriff, no money left now... money from many years.
Sheriff Galt: Well, that's what we got banks for, Charlie.
Charley - Laundry Owner: [puzzled] What we got Sheriff for?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Exiles (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your standard oater
6 September 2009 | by whitec-3See all my reviews

Iron Sheriff differs from most oaters or horse operas that feature wordless passages like long horse chases or showdowns performed under melodramatic music. I was reminded of western paperbacks I'd read in youth that, unlike those broad western film formulas, turned out to be thickly populated with characters with ambiguities, tics, or backstories. Instead of the films' standard linear revenge narrative, these novels' plots often involved confusion, discovery, and makeshift alliances. Correspondingly, this film's often-short scenes cut quickly to other settings and scenes.

Other posters are right that Iron Sheriff resembles a mystery--it uses a standard mystery-genre technique by introducing the actual culprit early and briefly but in the midst of distracting action, multiple characters, and a changing scene. Other posters are also correct that the extensive supporting cast is a prime attraction--another testament to the stable of talent developed by the late studio system.

Title actor Sterling Hayden looks great as ever but moves through the script on cruise control. After I identified the Sheriff's son Benjie as Darryl Hickman, elder brother of Dwayne Hickman of Dobie Gillis, my wife one-upped by identifying Kathi Nolan, the actress playing Benjie's girlfriend, as the future Kate McCoy, who would clang the triangle to summon The Real McCoys to dinner. Another treat is John Dehner, who dignified everything he appeared in.


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