6.9/10
619
20 user 11 critic

Man in the Shadow (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 18 December 1957 (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
...
Ab Begley
...
Helen Sadler
...
Ed Yates
...
Hank James
...
Aiken Clay
...
Herb Parker
...
Chet Huneker
...
Jesus Cisneros
...
Tony Santoro, the barber
...
Len Bookman
...
Jim Shaney
Joseph J. Greene ...
Harry Youngquist
Edit

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:

THIS WAS THE NIGHT WHEN THE LAW TURNED LAWLESS...to win back the justice a town had betrayed! (ORIGINAL PRINT AD) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1957 (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

Orson Welles rewrote sections of the script. See more »

Goofs

There is a phone line from the front gate to the main house, a distance of four miles. There are no poles and wires. See more »

Quotes

Ed Yates: [Threateningly to Renchler] Mud don't care who it splashes on!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fin de semana (1964) 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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