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Decision at Sundown (1957)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Western  |  10 November 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,368 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 19 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.



(screenplay) (as Charles Lang Jr.) , (from a story by)
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Title: Decision at Sundown (1957)

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At last the search was over ... now he was face-to-face with the killers who had dishonored his wife ! See more »


Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Décision à Sundown  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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


Lucy Summerton: [to Bart] Look, when you're in love the way you must have been, the truth isn't an easy thing to face up to. No man, including Tate Kimbrough, can take another man's wife away from him unless she really wants to be taken. So maybe you didn't lose anything that was really very worthwhile.
[He grabs her as she is leaving, and she slaps his face. He slaps her rump out the door]
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Very Good
14 November 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Decision at Sundown (1957)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

After the suicide of his wife, Bart Allison (Randolph Scott) makes it his goal to hunt down and kill the man he feels responsible. He finds Tate Kimbrough (John Carroll) in the small town of Sundown where he owns the sheriff (Andrew Duggan) and has the town frightened. Not to mention he shows up just as Tate is about to be married. It seems these Boetticher/Scott films weren't overly successful or popular when first released but over the past few years their reputations have really grown. There are a couple twists here that happens at the end of the film, which probably wouldn't go over too well back in 1957 but today I think people will be able to enjoy these more. This is certainly a western by all means but it's also a lot deeper than that and I think that's the reason these films keep getting more popular. The character study that involves Bart, Tate and the entire town makes for some suspenseful scenes and a lot of stuff to think about when it comes to men trying to seek revenge. Boetticher's direction is masterful as he does a terrific job at building tension from the opening scenes all the way to the end. The majority of the film has Scott held up in a barn, which is perfect because it gives the film a chance to visit and see the supporting characters and learn how they're going to have a major impact on the ending. The performances are also excellent with Scott leading the way in a role that isn't your typical hero. An anti-hero might be better because he is playing a very ugly character that doesn't have much charm. The way Scott lets the character's pain run free makes this the best work I've seen from him. Duggan is terrific as the snake sheriff and we get strong supporting performances by Carroll, Karen Steele and Valerie French. Noah Beery, Jr. is also excellent in his role as Scott's friend. Again, I'm sure people could debate the twists at the end but I think the make the film a lot more memorable. We've seen countless western's involving revenge so to see one that isn't done in a standard fashion is very refreshing.

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