6.9/10
641
21 user 13 critic

Man in the Shadow (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 22 January 1958 (USA)
Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go too 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Virgil Renchler
Colleen Miller ...
Skippy Renchler
...
...
...
...
Hank James
...
Aiken Clay
...
Herb Parker
...
Chet Huneker
...
Jesus Cisneros
...
Tony Santoro, the barber
...
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:

22 January 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seeds of Wrath  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,530,000, 31 December 1957
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France #19691 See more »

Goofs

Many characters comment about the heat, saying the temperature must be well over 100 degrees, yet even though they are all wearing long sleeves, ties, even suits, no one is ever sweating. The only ones with even a bit moisture on them are the old man and one of the henchmen. 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 Fin de semana (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sheriff investigates the strange death of a Mexican laborer but gets not help when he attempts to find law and order
31 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Intriguing and thrilling semi-Western about a honest marshal called Sadler has to confront a vicious land baron and his hoodlums . He is Virgil Ranchler whose ranch is bigger than five European countries . Violence and fear gripped in a land of the lawless but there appears marshal Ben Sandler (Jeff Chandler) as the only man in the country willing to stand up to powerful Virgil Ranchler (Orson Welles who rewrote sections of the script) . When his ruthless henchmen (John Larch , Leo Gordon) go to far and kill one of his migrant workmen , earnest Ben Sadler suspects Ranchler is behind the cruel death . As the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's . However , Sadler gets not support from townsfolk when he attempts to find justice .

Offbeat semi-Western about an upright marshal taking on a wealthy rancher responsible for immigrant's brutal death . The film packs violence , suspense , drama , thrills , moving set pieces and results to be quite entertaining . It's a medium-low budget film with good actors , technicians , production values and pleasing results . However , some reviewers and journalists told that producer Albert Zugsmith's low budget didn't allow for a single cow to be shown . A good almost-Western of the kind that was already close in the then changing climate of Hollywood , what follows result to be Westerns in which stand out the twilight style , typical of the sixties . There is plenty of intrigue and thriller in the movie ; it continues to thicken to the inevitable final showdown .

It's a stirring thriller with breathtaking confrontation between leading roles , Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles . Jeff Chandler interprets efficiently a marshal responsible for law and order in a cattle town . Orson Welles is terrific as Virgil Renchler , a wealthy man who owns most of the town providing a thriving economy . The role of Virgil Renchler was originally supposed to be played by Robert Middleton ; however the casting agency instead suggested Orson Welles, who badly needed money to pay tax . Orson Welles interpreted for getting financing to shoot his pictures , as he played several peculiar as well as exotic characters such as ¨The Tartari¨ , ¨Saul¨ , ¨Cagliostro¨ , ¨Cesare Borgia¨ and ¨Black rose¨ . Support cast is pretty good such as John Larch , Colleen Miller , Ben Alexander , James Gleason , William Schallert , Royal Dano , Paul Fix and a wasted Barbara Lawrence as wife . Special mention for Leo Gordon , he chomps his way through role of despicable villain , his ordinary character as a cruelly baddie , as he is pretty well , and bears a two-fisted and mocking aspect , subsequently he would play similar characters .

Enjoyable and thrilling musical score by Joseph Gershenson . Evocative cinematography in Black and White Cinemascope by Arthur E Arling . This ¨Enemy in the shadow¨ also titled ¨Pay the devil¨or ¨Seeds of wrath¨ was expertly staged by Jack Arnold who carried out an exciting climax of the picture . Being compellingly directed and resulting to be one of his best forays into the thriller genre . Arnold makes a nice camera work with clever choreography on the showdown , fighting , moving confrontations and suspenseful set pieces . He reigns supreme as one of the greatest filmmakers of 50s science , achieving an important cult popularity with classics as "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," and its follow-up titled "Revenge of the Creature" that was a nice sequel . "Tarantula" was likewise a lot of amusement and of course "The Incredible Shrinking Man" attained his greatest enduring cult popularity , it's a thought-provoking and impressive classic that's lost none of its power throughout the years . Arnold's final two genre entries were the interesting "Monster on the Campus" and the outlandish "The Space Children¨ . In addition to his film work, Arnold also directed episodes of such TV shows .


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