7.1/10
952
17 user 16 critic

Silver Lode (1954)

Approved | | Western | 23 July 1954 (USA)
Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a California mining town, a gold miner, a saloon gambler and a cat-house madam strike an odd alliance revolving around a gold mine claim.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Payne, Ronald Reagan, Rhonda Fleming
Ride Lonesome (1959)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A bounty hunter escorts a killer to town to be hanged, but is allowing the man's outlaw brother to catch up with him, for a showdown over a shocking previous murder.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An urban wheeler-dealer gets involved in organized crime, corrupt city politics and graft while falling in-love with the fiancée of the newly elected mayor.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Payne, Rhonda Fleming, Arlene Dahl
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.

Director: Herbert J. Biberman
Stars: Juan Chacón, Rosaura Revueltas, Will Geer
The Bigamist (1953)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of ... See full summary »

Director: Ida Lupino
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn
Passion (1954)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Mexican California, a land feud erupts and murder is committed when rich landowner Don Domingo reneges on an earlier verbal promise made by his father to grant to the tenant Melo family a piece of land.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Yvonne De Carlo, Raymond Burr
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John McIntire, Richard Kiley, Kathryn Grant
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Julie London, Lee J. Cobb
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a notorious tough 'town tamer' is hired by the citizenry to rid of the gunmen driving them off their land, he finds the local saloon madam to be an old friend.

Director: Richard Wilson
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling, Karen Sharpe
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marshal Tyrone and the Silver Kid form an uneasy alliance against a gang of claim jumpers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, Stephen McNally
Forty Guns (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Dolores Moran ...
Dolly
Emile Meyer ...
Sheriff Wooley
Robert Warwick ...
Judge Cranston
John Hudson ...
Michael 'Mitch' Evans
...
Johnson
...
Kirk
...
Wicker
Frank Sully ...
Paul Herbert, Telegrapher
Morris Ankrum ...
Hugh Sanders ...
Florence Auer ...
Mrs. Elmwood
Roy Gordon ...
Dr. Elmwood
Edit

Storyline

Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Ned McCarthy, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard for the murder of his brother and the theft of $20,000. Ballard seeks to stall McCarthy while tracking down evidence that will prove his innocence: but the townspeople's loyalty to him gradually begins to waver under McCarthy's accusations. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHEN THEY GRIP THEIR GUNS...YOU'LL GRIP YOUR SEAT! Revenge erupts into a frantic man-hunt...in this compelling picture of the Pioneer West! (original ad sheet) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stadt der Verdammten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the McCarthyism, political messages are usually cloaked in metaphors: for example, the name of the villain is Ned McCarty. See more »

Goofs

When Ballard hides near a haystack outside the Evans house, his shadow and the shadows of his pursuers fall on to the painted backdrop, revealing it as canvas and not a real landscape. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
July 4th and the town of Silver Lode is about to be defined.
20 November 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Silver Lode is directed by Allan Dwan and written by Karen DeWolf. It stars John Payne, Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Dolores Moran and Emile Meyer. Music is by Louis Forbes and cinematography by John Alton.

Dan Ballard (Payne) is a respected resident of the town Silver Lode, but on his wedding day Marshal Fred McCarty (Duryea) rolls into town looking to arrest him, accusing him of having murdered the Marshal's brother. The townsfolk refuse to accept the charge and stand up for Dan, and Dan loudly protests his innocence, but once suspicious mud is thrown it begins to stick and soon Dan finds himself running out of friends and is forced to prove his innocence.

Two things always pop up when the film Silver Lode is spoke about, one is its similarities to High Noon, the other is its veiled allegory of Senator McCarthy and his witch hunts. These are two things which are hard to ignore, though as a "British" lover of Westerns myself, the McCarthy politico aspect doesn't really resonate, but Silver Lode deserves to primarily be known for being the damn fine Western that it is.

Fickle mob rule and knee jerk reactions drive Silver Lode forward, it's a thematic powder keg ignited with some skill by the prolific Dwann. Aided by the supremely talented Alton, Dwann achieves so much mood and tension from a small town set up, this is never dealing in expansive vistas, its primary goal is to suffocate Dan Ballard. Where once was freedom and love, now is a place closing in on him, with the story moving into a noir realm as Dan becomes a man whose past is proving to be inescapable, while fate, another big noir ingredient, has a big part in proceedings as events conspire to make Dan seem more of a guilty man the harder he tries to prove his innocence.

It's a lean and mean screenplay, devoid of filler and characterisations are colourful. Payne makes for a good put upon hero, his Dan Ballard as written is stoic and tough, and resilience needs to be his middle name. Duryea does another in his great line of weasels, and here he is wonderfully cloaked in suspicion from the off. Tagging behind him are his three equally suspicious cohorts played by Stuart Whitman, Alan Hale Junior and Harry Carey Junior, while the upstanding town elders (Sheriff, Judge, Reverend) have time to make a mark before the fragile nature of small town justice begins to take a hold and the clock ticks down on Dan Ballard's life.

Most impressive is the influence on the story of the lady characters, so often a token interest in the B Westerns of the 50s. Deftly perched on either side of Ballard, the femmes are key characters in the piece. Rose Evans (Scott) is virtuous, brightly attired in white, she's the town sweetheart who Dan is set to marry, the question is will her loyalty to Dan remain? Dolly (Moran giving the best performance in the film and getting all the best lines) is a slinky saloon gal, in purple frills and with a tongue as sharp as a scorpion's sting, she still carries a torch for the unobtainable Dan.

Alton's colour photography is most appealing but we don't see the best of his work until the finale inside the town church. With clever use of light, shadows and colour enhancements, Alton is able to sum up the whole tone of the story in this segment. As for if the finale is worth the wait? It is but it's a little mischievous. Certainly it's interesting, a quirk of fate again playing a hand as two men do battle in the church bell tower. But there's a religious angle dropped into the narrative and I'm at a loss as to why that would be the case? Still, it's a very small irritant, for this is a cracker of a Western, a lesson in achieving big things from such small beginnings. 8.5/10


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
McCarty was Fred triumphirs
Discuss Silver Lode (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?