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Man in the Shadow (I) (1957)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  January 1958 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 433 users  
Reviews: 15 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
...
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:

"I'M YOUR LAW...yet you tell me to forget about Violence and Murder!" (original print ad) 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

Visa d'exploitation en France #19691 See more »

Quotes

Ab Begley: You're making a mistake, Ben!
Ben Sadler: [Firmly] Look, in this office I'm the judge of that, and let's not forget that!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Weekend (1964) See more »

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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.


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