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Three Hours to Kill (1954)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 303 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 5 critic

Framed for murder, Jim Guthrie barely escapes lynching by the town mob, becomes a wanted fugitive for three years but returns to find the real killer.

Director:

(as Alfred Werker)
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Title: Three Hours to Kill (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jim Guthrie
...
Laurie Mastin
Dianne Foster ...
Chris Palmer
Stephen Elliott ...
Sheriff Ben East
Richard Coogan ...
Niles Hendricks
Laurence Hugo ...
Marty Lasswell
James Westerfield ...
Sam Minor
Richard Webb ...
Carter Mastin
...
Polly
Charlotte Fletcher ...
Betty
...
Deke
Edit

Storyline

After three years on the run, Jim Guthrie returns with the scar of a rope burn on his neck. In flashback we learn how he was framed for murder but then escaped from the lynch mob just as he was about to be hung. Tired of running, he has returned to find the real killer and the Sheriff has given him just three hours to do it. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Man With The Rope Scar ON HIS NECK!

Genres:

Mystery | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drei Stunden Zeit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Jim Guthrie: Did you know we were going to get some cattle with the place?
Laurie Mastin: Cattle? How many?
Jim Guthrie: Two. We're going to be cattle barons.
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Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
[Heard playing by musicians at the dance.]
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User Reviews

 
Prime suspect
13 January 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Durable leading man Dana Andrews stars in this B-side western about a fight between Andrews and Richard Webb that ends in Webb being murdered

  • but despite appearing to be caught red-handed, is Andrews actually


the culprit? After a near-summary execution by some over-zealous locals, Andrews narrowly escapes returning several years later to clear his name.

Familiar plot has surprising depth in the female casting for a film of this ilk, alongside Donna Reed as Andrews' former beau is Dianne Foster as the versatile and open-minded admirer Chris, while Carolyn Jones and Charlotte Fletcher play a pair of damsels who've both fallen for card shark Laurence Hugo, one of many on Andrews' hit list.

Good also to see Stephen Elliott who later garnered fame in films like "Arthur" and "Beverly Hills Cop", in his film debut in the key supporting role of Ben, the town's new sheriff who's friendship with Andrews affords him three hours grace to catch the killer or be tried for murder (hence the title).

There's a simmering tension that prevails the full eighty-odd minutes, with a particularly taut scene in which veteran Whit Bissell (playing the town's ubiquitous barber) takes a razor to Andrews' throat, as he nervously fends off accusations that he is the real killer. Pretty decent whodunit western that no doubt some armchair sleuths will solve before the climax, nevertheless, it's a bittersweet ending that rejects the typical clichés making this overall, a better-than-average yarn.


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