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Decision at Sundown (1957)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,115 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 16 critic

Bart Allison and sidekick Sam arrive in the town of Sundown on the wedding day of town boss Tate Kimbrough, whom Allison blames for his wife's death years earlier.

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Title: Decision at Sundown (1957)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bart Allison
John Carroll ...
Tate Kimbrough
...
Lucy Summerton
Valerie French ...
Ruby James
...
Sam (as Noah Beery)
John Archer ...
Dr. John Storrow
...
Sheriff Swede Hansen
James Westerfield ...
Otis
...
Charles Summerton
...
Morley Chase
...
Mr. Baldwin
...
Reverend Zaron
...
Spanish
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Storyline

Bart Allison arrives in Sundown planning to kill Tate Kimbrough. Three years earlier he believed Kimbrough was responsible for the death of his wife. He finds Kimbrough and warns him he is going to kill him but gets pinned down in the livery stable with his friend Sam by Kimbrough's stooge Sheriff and his men. When Sam is shot in the back after being told he could leave safely, some of the townsmen change sides and disarm the Sheriff's men forcing him to face Allison alone. Taking care of the Sheriff, Allison injures his gun hand and must now face Kimbrough left-handed. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Decision at Sundown  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the beginning when you first see Tate Kimbrough, you can see the fingernail on his left index finger is black, indicating he bruised it at some point around filming. See more »

Goofs

Several coils of rope hanging in the barn where Scott is trapped are secured with modern tape. See more »

Quotes

Spanish, Sheriff's Deputy: [Groaning as the doctor removes his shirt to tend his gashed arm wound] Uhhhhh!
Sam: [Sarcastically] Ain't it lucky you brought the iodine, Doc?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Budd Boetticher: An American Original (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

cowboys also have self-respect
19 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

This one differs from the other Scott-Boetticher westerns as the action is transferred to an urban setting. In `Decision…', Scott's usual ambiguity is on the edge of plain craze and self destruction, his hero qualities lowered, the character's failures pretty much on the open. In this fable about the winning or recovery of Self Respect, he's the most spitted type of the film, in opposition to the bad guy, who remains unchanged despite his moral contradictions (at one point he admits to the prostitute that he's afraid, as Scott character does at one point or another in every other film of the saga). Boetticher is a master of understatement, a craftsman with an ascetic economy. Every shot is right; every cut contributes to the progress of narration. We perceive the performers' inner thoughts so they can talk about something else. The philosophic exchanges, a trademark of the director, take place not with a round of coffee by the fire but inside the saloon (that looks like a Temple, while the church is presented as a saloon), or in the restaurant, but Scott doesn't take part. He's the sort character that seems to carry unwarily a sort of magnetism, a quality which makes everybody deposit on him their own fears and expectations. A mundane redemptive figure seen on later films, like the motorcycle guy in `Rumble Fish'. All the characters are able to verbalize and unveil the hero's conscience, everybody but the hero himself, tragically crusaded on a meaningless task.

`Decision…' anticipates the enclosure of `Rio Bravo', and other later westerns where the hero must overcome a tormented past, purify himself in order to purify a corrupted environment. Randolph Scott's hard features convey the primitivism of the Boetticher hero perfectly; here we discover a certain apish side of his face, something that the director's camera recognizes and photographs to emphasize his storytelling. Even if not written by usual collaborator Burt Kennedy, one of the cowboys still say the polite `I'm obliged', and as in every other Boetticher western, Mexicans are played by real Mexicanos.


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