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A Lawless Street (1955)

Passed  -  Western  -  15 December 1955 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 600 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 8 critic

A Marshal must face unpleasant facts about his past when he attempts to run a criminal gang out of town.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marshal Calem Ware
...
Tally Dickenson
Warner Anderson ...
Hamer Thorne
...
Cora Dean
Wallace Ford ...
Dr. Amos Wynn
John Emery ...
Cody Clark
James Bell ...
Asaph Dean
Ruth Donnelly ...
Molly Higgins
...
Harley Baskam
Don Megowan ...
Dooley Brion
...
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:

They were all running out at the same time ... his luck ... his bullets ... his woman ! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marshal of Medicine Bend  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Dingo's effects are presented to the Marshall in his office the holster rig and pistol are completely different from the rig shown in the closeup at the beginning of the film as Dingo rides into town. 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

 
A LAWLESS STREET (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955) ***
8 December 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is really no lesser an achievement than the renowned Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher Westerns; then again, director Lewis was no slouch (for he made his fair share of minor classics)!

Scott's role is typical – a legendary marshal involved in a HIGH NOON (1952)-type situation, where he's practically left alone to clean up a town riddled with corruption and violence – but the underrated actor invests it with warmth, humor, tenacity and a quiet dignity. The star, then, is supported by a most excellent cast: Angela Lansbury (a fine actress but a rather unlikely chanteuse), James Bell (a usurped town leader), Jean Parker (an ageing belle and the latter's wife), Wallace Ford (predictably in the role of the reliable town doctor), Ruth Donnelly (as Scott's gracious elderly housekeeper), Jeanette Nolan (as the wife of a revenge-seeking ex-con whom Scott has killed in self-defense), and an interesting trio of villains – powerful boss Warner Anderson (who also fancies himself a ladies' man and, in fact, strikes up relationships with both Parker and Lansbury throughout), shifty but nervous gambler John Emery and smooth gunslinger Michael Pate (making for a worthy opponent to Scott).

The above-average script by Kenneth Gamet (an in-joke shows the calendar in the hero's room as being sponsored by Gamet's Vegetable Compound!) gives characterization reasonable depth: Scott and Lansbury are married but she had left him because of his dangerous job (a situation which she has to live through again now); Scott tells Donnelly that he hears The Beast (which symbolizes the scourge of the town) every morning until it's replaced by church-bells at the end of the picture. The highlights – most of the action seems to take place in and around one particular saloon, though in a montage we're shown that Anderson's 'protection' extends to many others in town – include an energetic and brutal fistfight between the hero and a dim-witted giant (who subsequently joins forces with him), an astonishing shoot-out two-thirds of the way involving Scott and Pate which ends with the former left for dead, and the splendid extended climax. On top of it all is the pleasing cinematography by an expert in color lensing, Ray Rennahan.


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