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Rage at Dawn (1955)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  26 March 1955 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 598 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 4 critic

A special agent from Chicago is sent out west to bring in the notorious Reno brothers.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
James Barlow
...
Frank Reno
...
Laura Reno
J. Carrol Naish ...
Simeon 'Sim' Reno
...
Judge
Myron Healey ...
John Reno
Howard Petrie ...
Lattimore - Prosecuting Attorney
...
Sheriff of Seymour
William Forrest ...
William Peterson
...
Clint Reno
...
Fisher
...
Monk Claxton
Edit

Storyline

Terrorizing 1866 Indiana, the Reno brothers gang uses the town of Seymour as a safe haven, paying off three crooked town officials. Sent in to clean up the gang is Peterson Detective Agency operative James Barlow, who poses as an outlaw to gain the confidence of the officials and the thick-headed brothers. Complicating matters are Barlow's feelings for the Reno sister, Laura, who reluctantly keeps house for the boys out of family loyalty. Events heat up and rage surfaces as Barlow sets up the gang in a dawn train robbery. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The roar... the rage... of the boldest double-cross in outlaw history! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Bad Men  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of the honest Reno brother Clint was played by Denver Pyle. One year later Elvis Presley made his film debut playing the same character in Love Me Tender (1956). See more »

Goofs

Although the film is set in the Midwestern state of Indiana, the opening sequence shows a desert landscape and the kind of towering buttes found in the Southwest--e.g., Utah and Arizona--and not on the flat prairies of Indiana. See more »

Quotes

Clint Reno: So it finally happened. A Reno brother got killed.
Sim Reno: Clint, we don't want no preaching.
Frank Reno: Take it easy, Sim.
Clint Reno: The baby of the family dying in the streets and his brave brothers running away. Not even animals would do a thing like that!
John Reno: Dead in the streets... not dying.
Clint Reno: As if that made a difference!
See more »

Connections

Version of Love Me Tender (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast-Paced and Much-Copied Western; Historical and Satisfying
4 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a very-much copied western which belongs technically to the category of Randolph Scott westerns; this large and interesting body of work itself should be divided I suggest into the 1940s B/W series, and the 1950s color series; this is one of the earlier color efforts, an expensive-looking production but with somewhat inconsistent color. In several of his better efforts, Scott's role was that of a law officer or detective infiltrating some group of schemers. The story-line here is a fictionalized biography by veteran Frank Gruber, with screenplay by Horace McCoy, detailing the events of the Reno Brothers' gang and their train robberies performed in rural Indiana c. 1866. Scott's character is Barlow, a veteran Southern spy with impressive credentials. When their agent operating with the gang is murdered (after the gang is set up for capture), the Peterson Detective Agemcy sends for Scott to work with agents Kenneth Tobey and Ralph Moody to infiltrate the gang himself. Their device is a staged train robbery faked by the team, and the promise of a $100,000 payoff in the future. The ruse works; Scott is accepted by the gang, including Frank Reno, its leader, played strongly by Forrest Tucker. But immediately Scott finds he has problems. One of the Reno family, Denver Pyle, has nothing to do with the crimes and Scott falls in love with Mala Powers, his sister, who is bitter and unhappy; of course when he turns out to be just another bank robber, she turns against him, despite their obvious attraction and his courtly manners. From this point on, Scott helps the others pull an unremunerative robbery and becomes Tucker's rival to be the head of the gang. Between runs to town to report to his partners, he also is introduced to the three inside men in the town from which the gang operates--played by fine actor Howard Petrie, Edgar Buchanan and "Bonanza's" TV sheriff talented Ray Teal. Despite setbacks, the entrapment of the gang works. In a long and well-done shootout, several of the gang are killed, along with Scott's partner. He is then free to reveal his the role he has been playing all along. Powers tries to shoot him at night, but she comes nowhere close and ends up in his arms. Then Pyle comes to warn the detectives that a mob has been formed, led by smooth-talking Trevow Bardette and Jimmy Lydon. Scott tries has to ride off to try to save the gang from being lynched. The film's ending is downbeat but historically accurate, bringing to the end a memorable adventure tale that might have been made differently but is very lively and well-made exactly as it is. The other members of the gang are Myron Healey and powerful J. Carroll Naish, plus others, with George Wallace as the sheriff of Seymour and William Phipps, Chubby Johnson and Holly Bane in smaller roles. Director Tim Whelna did a solid if unspectacular job of directing a very difficult film, with day, night, action, dialogue, interior, exterior and battle scenes. The cinematography by Ray Rennahan and the music by Paul Sawtell are very fine, and Walter E. Keller's art direction is above average also. I enjoy this Scott western as a transitional work and for its attempts to make a true-to-life historical fictionalized biography, for the mostly-implied-level idea on which characters interact in this swift-moving adventure, and for the authentic look and feel of the work. A very entertaining film by anyone's standards.


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