26 user 4 critic

Rage at Dawn (1955)

Approved | | Western | 26 March 1955 (USA)
A special agent from Chicago is sent out west to bring in the notorious Reno brothers.



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
James Barlow
Frank Reno
Laura Reno
Simeon 'Sim' Reno
John Reno
Howard Petrie ...
Lattimore - Prosecuting Attorney
Sheriff of Seymour
William Forrest ...
William Peterson
Clint Reno
Monk Claxton


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>

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SHOWDOWN AT SUNUP! (original print ad - all caps) See more »




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Release Date:

26 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Bad Men  »

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(RCA Sound System)



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Did You Know?


Ten members of the Reno gang were lynched in three separate incidents in 1868. The first three were taken by vigilantes from a train. Three others were lynched at a later time. The last lynching, which included three Reno brothers, Frank, Sim, and Bill, actually claimed a fourth victim, gang member Charlie Anderson. Anderson and Frank Reno were technically in federal custody when they were lynched. This is believed to be the only time in U.S. history that a federal prisoner had ever been lynched by a mob before a trial. See more »


Although the film shows two of the identified vigilantes were imprisoned for the crime, in reality not one of the 65 man lynch mob was ever identified or punished. See more »


First Townswoman: [Looking at the corrupt politians walking down the street] There kind'd never be elected if the women folk could vote.
Second Townswoman: Yeah, but we'll get the vote one day.
See more »


Featured in The Sierra Number 3 Locomotive: A Star Is Reborn (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Western; Great Cast
20 May 2004 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Rage of Dawn" is one of a series of excellent westerns made by Randolph Scott in the 1950s. This one has Scott posing as a train robber in order to infiltrate the Reno Brothers gang in 1866.

The brothers Frank (Forrest Tucker), Sim (J. Carroll Naish) and John (Myron Healey) among others are ambushed during a holdup attempt in which their youngest brother is killed. They suspect an informer. It turns out to be Peterson Detective Agency man Murphy (Arthur Space) who is quickly eliminated. Back at the Peterson office, Mr. Peterson (William Forrest) assigns Monk Paxton (Kenneth Tobey) to the case along with ex-southern spy James Barlow (Scott). They stage a phony train robbery in order to gain the gang's confidence. They then take refuge at Barlow's "uncle's" (Ralph Moody) ranch and await contact from the gang.

Meanwhile, Barlow has become acquainted with the Reno's sister Laura (Mala Powers) and sparks fly. Good Reno brother Clint (Denver Pyle) pleads with Barlow to take his sister "away from all of this". Barlow gets in with the gang and learns that the local Judge (Edgar Buchanan), prosecutor (Howard Petrie) and sheriff (Ray Teal) are involved with the gang.

Barlow sets them up in a train robbery and the Reno Brothers are arrested. Concerned citizens Fisher (Trevor Bardette) and Dedrick (James Lydon) form a lynch mob and go to the jail, overpower the local sheriff (George Wallace) and.......

This has got to be one of the greatest casts of veteran western performers ever to appear in one film. Western lovers will know what I'm talking about. In addition to those mentioned above you'll spot Mike Ragan (aka Holly Bane), Dennis Moore, Chubby Johnson and William Phipps in other roles.

One of Scott's better westerns of the period.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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