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Man in the Shadow (I) (1957)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 382 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go to far and kill one of his migrant workmen, the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's.

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Title: Man in the Shadow (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Virgil Renchler
Colleen Miller ...
Skippy Renchler
...
Ab Begley
Barbara Lawrence ...
Helen Sadler
John Larch ...
Ed Yates
...
Hank James
...
Aiken Clay
...
Herb Parker
Leo Gordon ...
Chet Huneker
Martin Garralaga ...
Jesus Cisneros
Mario Siletti ...
Tony Santoro, the barber
Charles Horvath ...
Len Bookman
...
Jim Shaney
Joseph J. Greene ...
Harry Youngquist
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Storyline

In effect, modern cow town Spurline is run by Virgil Renchler, owner of the Golden Empire Ranch. One night, two of Virgil's henchmen go a little too far and beat a "bracero" ranch hand to death. Faced with an obvious cover-up and opposition on every hand, sheriff Ben Sadler is goaded into investigating. His unlikely ally: Renchler's lovely, self-willed and overprotected daughter. Will Ben survive Renchler's wrath? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

VIOLENCE AND FEAR GRIPPED THIS LAND OF THE LAWLESS! (all original posters-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seeds of Wrath  »

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Virgil Renchler was originally supposed to be played by Robert Middleton. The William Morris Agency instead suggested Orson Welles, who badly needed money to pay tax. See more »

Quotes

Helen Sadler: What will happen to Spurline without the business from the ranch?
Ben Sadler: What'll happen to it without the law?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Senda torcida (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Give this "B" a "B"
26 January 2004 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

In a bit of a departure for its time, this movie begins with a brief pre-credits sequence, and it delays some of its credits till the very end. (During these closing credits, music is played which was also used in "It Came from Outer Space.")

Aside from these minor touches, however, "Man in the Shadow" is a traditional, straightforward effort which would have once fitted unobtrusively into the bottom half of a double-bill. By 1957, however, these "B" movies were rapidly being replaced by TV programming and "Man in the Shadow" could easily have been converted into a one-hour television drama. The script might have been edited down by eliminating the role of Orson Welles' teenage daughter who only figures tangentially into the plot and who does not provide any "romantic interest" for Jeff Chandler since his character is already happily married.

The plot is one of those "politically correct" affairs about the small-town lawman standing up against a powerful citizen in defense of a racial-minority member. The lawman's urged by his family and friends to leave well enough alone but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

You might expect here one of Orson Welles' flamboyant (a.k.a. "hammy") performances but he's surprisingly restrained due, one suspects, simply to lack of interest in such a minor project. Jeff Chandler, amazingly enough, seems more compelling, and in the movie's most memorable moment he's dragged by his wrists down Main Street, sometimes on his belly, behind a pick-up truck.

Jack Arnold directed this movie competently but without distinctive touches in a series of standard expository scenes. It pales in comparison to his other 1957 movie, "The Incredible Shrinking Man."


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