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High Lonesome (1950) More at IMDbPro »

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High Lonesome -- When a sudden spurt of murders occurs in the Big Bend country, suspicion immediately falls on a young drifter who just moved to the area.
High Lonesome -- A mysterious young man shows up at a ranch, becomes involved in a series of murders and then disappears, only to return and solve the crimes.  (1950; B&W)


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5.4/10   122 votes »
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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alan Le May (written by)
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Release Date:
1 September 1950 (USA) See more »
THE UNKNOWN, THE UNSEEN...HAUNTED his footsteps...PERILED his life...DARED him to expose them! (original 3-sheet poster) See more »
When a sudden spurt of murders occurs in the Big Bend country, suspicion immediately falls on a young drifter who just moved to the area. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Oddball Western See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Drew Barrymore ... Cooncat (as John Barrymore Jr.)

Chill Wills ... Boatwhistle, Ranch Cook
John Archer ... Pat Farrell
Lois Butler ... Meagan Davis
Kristine Miller ... Abby Davis
Basil Ruysdael ... 'Horse' Davis, Ranch Owner

Jack Elam ... Smiling Man
Dave Kashner ... Roper
Frank Cordell ... Frank
Clem Fuller ... Dixie
Hugh Aiken ... Art Simms
Howard Joslin ... Jim Shell

Directed by
Alan Le May 
Writing credits
Alan Le May (written by)

Produced by
George Templeton .... producer
Original Music by
Rudy Schrager  (as Rudolph Schrager)
Cinematography by
W. Howard Greene 
Film Editing by
Jack Ogilvie 
Art Direction by
John B. Goodman  (as John Goodman)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Paisley .... assistant director
Harry Templeton .... assistant director
Sound Department
Harold Lewis .... sound
Walter Oberst .... sound
Frank Cordell .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Clem Fuller .... stunts (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Byron Munson .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Mitchell Kovaleski .... color consultant: Technicolor
Music Department
Gerard Carbonara .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Hugh Aiken .... stager: dances
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

20 Miles From CarsonSee more »


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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Oddball Western, 10 November 2010
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

Oddball Western drama. There's no commanding central character to hang your hat on. Barrymore Jr. headlines, but his "Cooncat" stands more for misunderstood youth than as a force for good. Actually, several characters alternate in the spotlight, crippled old Davis (Ruysdael) being the most commanding, with his spirited daughter Abby (Miller) not far behind. Then too, there's a very un-Western hint of the spooky in the "ghost" figures lurking in the background. That "horse dragging" sequence is unusual and more brutal than expected. If Barrymore had padding to ease the abrasion, I couldn't spot it.

It's a pretty cluttered screenplay with a number of characters and episodes drifting in and out that makes it difficult at times to keep up with. Nonetheless, it's a good original story with a number of nice touches, including the barn dance; plus, the wide open vistas of southwest Texas (where the epic Giant {1955} was filmed). I also like the way that underneath the sub- plots, the film is really about the hapless kid finding a home. Note that the character Cooncat foreshadows a popular theme of the coming decade—misunderstood youth, especially as popularized by James Dean several years later.

I expect the un-tried Barrymore was given top billing for box office purposes. He tries hard, and after all his character is based on anger and frustration since nobody believes him and is about to hang him. The only scene I can spot where he clearly over-acts is when describing the two horsemen to Boatwhistle (Wills). Otherwise, I see him as giving a logically emotional performance.

Anyway, I liked the film as an entertainingly offbeat Western.

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