5.9/10
251
12 user 3 critic

The Iron Sheriff (1957)

Approved | | Western | April 1957 (USA)
When the sheriff's son is placed on trial for murdering a stagecoach driver, the sheriff desperately searches for the real killer - and finds the trail leads back to his boy.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt
...
Claire
...
Roger Pollack
...
Phil Quincy
...
Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt
...
Marshal Ellison
...
District Attorney Holloway
...
Leveret
...
Range Detective Sutherland
Peter Miller ...
Jackson Gallagher
...
Kathi Walden (as Kathy Nolan)
...
Eugene 'Gene' Walden
...
Judge
Ray Walker ...
Bilson
...
Sheriff Joe Tilyou (as Bob Williams)
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Storyline

In 1891, in a small town in South Dakota, a stagecoach is robbed and the driver is killed. A small fortune in silver dollars has disappeared. The only suspect is Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt, the son of Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt. The lad claims he's innocent but circumstances and a few witnesses place him at the scene of the murder-robbery. Heart-broken but honest, Sheriff Galt arrests his own son and prepares for the trial by hiring the best lawyer in the country to defend Benjie. The Sheriff also hires a local detective to investigate the scene of the stagecoach robbery and possibly dig up any new evidence or witnesses to help clear Benjie of the crime. However, when a silver dollar from the stage robbery loot turns up in the local saloon, the trail leads straight to Benjie. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From His Leather-Tough Skin To His Cold-Steel Guts He Was All Cast Iron - ...and then he began to crack! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Trial of Benjie Galt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although shot in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.78:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see it as the director and cinematographer intended. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame would never have been seen by a theater audience. See more »

Goofs

Once everyone figures out that the sheriff's son didn't kill the stage driver, they all agree that he couldn't have known the stage was even coming, yet this defense was never raised once during the trial that convicted him. See more »

Quotes

[a dying man has identified Benjie as a murderer]
Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt: Dad, you can't believe what he said. You can't!
Sheriff Galt: No, I believe you, Benjie, but I got to prove it. Somehow, I got to prove it.
Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt: To the people here... or to yourself?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Exiles (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your standard oater
6 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Iron Sheriff differs from most oaters or horse operas that feature wordless passages like long horse chases or showdowns performed under melodramatic music. I was reminded of western paperbacks I'd read in youth that, unlike those broad western film formulas, turned out to be thickly populated with characters with ambiguities, tics, or backstories. Instead of the films' standard linear revenge narrative, these novels' plots often involved confusion, discovery, and makeshift alliances. Correspondingly, this film's often-short scenes cut quickly to other settings and scenes.

Other posters are right that Iron Sheriff resembles a mystery--it uses a standard mystery-genre technique by introducing the actual culprit early and briefly but in the midst of distracting action, multiple characters, and a changing scene. Other posters are also correct that the extensive supporting cast is a prime attraction--another testament to the stable of talent developed by the late studio system.

Title actor Sterling Hayden looks great as ever but moves through the script on cruise control. After I identified the Sheriff's son Benjie as Darryl Hickman, elder brother of Dwayne Hickman of Dobie Gillis, my wife one-upped by identifying Kathi Nolan, the actress playing Benjie's girlfriend, as the future Kate McCoy, who would clang the triangle to summon The Real McCoys to dinner. Another treat is John Dehner, who dignified everything he appeared in.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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