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The sheriff of Gunlock is planning to hang Sam Hall, who shot three farmers found on cattle land, at sundown. At the casino, betting is 8 to 3 he won't make it. The cattlemen are set to rescue Sam; the farmers hope to lynch him before he can be rescued; and Hall schemes for escape with his girl Nellie. But Sheriff Jorden is most concerned with finding out who hired Hall: a leading suspect is the sheriff's future brother-in-law. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The odds were against the sheriff going through with the hanging.
When this film was released in Brazil, a famous critic ranked it among the best films of the year (probably 1957). I would no go as far as that, but Star in the Dust is a B western with higher ambitions that partially achieves them. The story is about the sheriff who has to hang a killer Sam Hall (Richard Boone) before sundown. The cattlemen who probably hired the killer want to turn him loose, but the ranchers (the ones that were killed were ranchers), who have the local teacher as their leader want the hanging to go through. All the time there is a man singing a ballad about Sam Hall and it blends well with the film. Mamie Van Doren in an unusual role where she is not meant to be sexy is the sheriff's bride and also the sister of the banker and leader of the cattlemen. There is a constant betting going on where the odds that the hanging is not going to go through are much higher. The tension builds up very well, up to the crucial moment which is very convincing. A very similar story was used in another western "The Young Land"(1959), also with very good results.
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