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Stranger on Horseback (1955)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Western  |  23 March 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 304 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 11 critic

A circuit judge in the old west attempts to bring a suspected killer to justice. The judge runs afoul of the killer's rich cattle baron father in the process.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Judge Richard 'Rick' Thorne
Miroslava ...
Amy Lee Bannerman
Tom Bannerman
Josiah Bannerman
Col. Buck Streeter
Caroline Webb
Emile Meyer ...
Sheriff Nat Bell
Robert Cornthwaite ...
Arnold Hammer
Jaclynne Greene ...
Paula Morrison (as Jacklyn Green)
Walter Baldwin ...
Vince Webb
Emmett Lynn ...
Sam Kettering
George Keymas ...
Bannerman's Henchman


A circuit judge in the old west attempts to bring a suspected killer to justice. The judge runs afoul of the killer's rich cattle baron father in the process.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thunder in the saddle ... greased lightning with his guns ... there never rode a man to match him ! See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Einer gegen alle  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[After water's thrown in his face.]
Thorne: Thanks, it's a hot day.
Baddie: I don't like what you said.
Thorne: I said it was a hot day.
Baddie: Well, I don't like the way you said it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Fair Western but Considering the Cast It Should Have Been Better
19 April 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Stranger on Horseback (1955)

** (out of 4)

Judge Thorne (Joel McCrea) arrives in a small town ran by Josiah Bannerman (John McIntire) and finds that the man pretty much owns everything and makes sure that everything is under his control. This doesn't sit too well with the Judge because he wants to bring the man's son (Kevin McCarthy) to trial for the murder of an innocent man but the Judge doesn't find too many people willing to stand with him. STRANGER ON HORSEBACK isn't a masterpiece and it's not even a good film but it's a decent little "B" Western that has an attractive cast even if the story itself is just a second-rate mix of HIGH NOON and 3:10 TO YUMA. Considering the talent involved I can't help but label this a minor disappointment because not only do you have McCrea doing a role he was born to play but you have the highly underrated Tourneur calling the shots. The most surprising thing is that there's not a single shot that will remind you of anything Tourneur had done in his career. Usually the director had a certain eye for style but none of that is to be seen here and that's a real shame because a little more spark is exactly what the familiar story needed. The story itself is pretty familiar stuff that you could trace back to the Westerns of the 1930s. A good man comes into a corrupt town and must try to battle the owner for what's right. The familiar story leads up to a finale that I won't ruin but I must admit that I found it rather weak. I don't mind too much the way the Judge character goes about doing his business but what the McIntire character does just seemed way too far-fetched and I thought it pretty much made the entire movie pointless. What makes the film worth sitting through is the terrific cast with McCrea leading the way as the good guy. Along with Randolph Scott you really couldn't find a better good guy than McCrea and he does a nice job with the part. McCarthy was fun in this early role even if his sometimes comic approach is a tad bit off. It's always fun seeing McIntire as he eats up scenes and we even get John Carradine as the corrupt prosecutor. Miroslava plays the bad man's cousin and makes for some good chemistry with McCrea. I'm not familiar with the Louis L'Amour story so I can't say how close this film follows it but the routine screenplay could have used some better stuff but if you're a fan of the cast then you might as well kill 66-minutes.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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