Man in the Shadow (I) (1957)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  January 1958 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 480 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 9 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.



0Check in


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Major Jim "Lance" Lansing, an American ex-pilot of the U.S. Air Corps, returns to Scotland after the war and finds much trouble in the glen where he settles because of the high-handed ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles, Forrest Tucker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cool, cultured John Gant rides into Lordsburg. Gant is a professional killer, and although no one knows who he is there to kill, they are all worried. Everyone has enemies, and maybe Gant ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Audie Murphy, Charles Drake, Joan Evans
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unscrupulous agent for the Borgias suffers a change of heart when asked to betray a noble count and his much younger, very beautiful wife.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Alcoholic newspaperman Lew Marsh hits bottom, loses his job and is rehabilitated by Charley Dolan. After six years on the wagon he gets his job back and devotes himself to other recovering ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Cagney, Phyllis Thaxter, Raymond Massey
Shoot Out (1971)
Certificate: GP Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former bank robber searches for his double crossing partner who left him for dead, while having to look after a 6 year old girl.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gregory Peck, Patricia Quinn, Robert F. Lyons
San Antonio (1945)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tough dance hall girl working for the local villain falls for a cowboy trying to clean up the town.

Directors: David Butler, Robert Florey, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, S.Z. Sakall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Jeff Carr, a special investigator, arrives in Tomahawk. His assignment is to discover who has been holding up the local stagecoach and is guilty for a series of killings that terrorize the ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Lex Barker, Mara Corday, Stephen McNally
Forty Guns (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger
Red Sundown (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When his life is saved in a shootout by a fellow gunman whose life he in turn had saved, Alex Longmire promises to give up his way of life. Riding into town he finds the only job available ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Martha Hyer, Dean Jagger
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When top lawyer James Blane gets an acquittal for a man who killed another man for sexually roughing up his trophy wife, the murderous town sheriff frames him for bribing a juror in the case.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Jeanne Crain, Jack Carson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Businessman Charles Peace leads a double life--by day he's a respected local businessman, but by night he's a professional thief who lets nothing, not even murder, stop him from getting what he wants.

Director: Norman Lee
Stars: Michael Martin Harvey, Chili Bouchier, Valentine Dyall


Cast overview, first billed only:
Virgil Renchler
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seeds of Wrath  »

Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Ben Sadler: There isn't a yard of guts in this whole town. This isn't a town, it's a trained dog act! I'm tired of gettin' pushed around! One way or another I'm gonna get myself a couple of murderers tonight.
See more »


Referenced in Weekend (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Welles and Zugsmith-- The Original Odd Couple
19 October 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Seems like shapely actress Colleen Miller appears outside her regular clothes about as often as in them, as in nightgown and underwear. But then, the movie posters had to have something provocative to promote.

The premise itself has been around the block more than a few times—a reluctant lawman stands up to local tyrant despite opposition from frightened townspeople. Still, the movie works pretty well up to two points where the screenplay buckles—the rope dragging and the town turn-around. Neither of these is very believable within context. But then, the film is on a budget and does have to motivate a wrap-up.

I gather producer Zugsmith helped finance Welles' next feature Touch of Evil (1957) in return for appearing here. The part is relatively small, and Welles underplays without the needed malevolence. Seems almost like he's walking through. Nonetheless, it's a solid cast of supporting players, familiar faces from thuggish Leo Gordon to Dragnet's Ben Alexander taking a break from the LAPD. The support works well to provide more color than usual.

Rather sad to see that earnest actor Jeff Chandler again, knowing he died unnecessarily at 42 as result of medical malpractice (a foreign object left inside following an operation, as I recall). He's quite good here as the conflicted sheriff struggling to do his duty.

All in all, it's a decent enough programmer, better than Zugsmith's usual quickie fare, thanks in large part (I expect) to under-rated director Jack Arnold.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Violent Men barlop123
Orson Welles pdmh48
Discuss Man in the Shadow (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: