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The Tin Star (1957)

Approved | | Western | 31 January 1958 (Finland)
A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Morgan 'Morg' Hickman
...
Sheriff Ben Owens
...
Nona Mayfield
...
Kip Mayfield
...
Bart Bogardus
...
Dr. Joseph Jefferson 'Doc' McCord
Mary Webster ...
Millie Parker
Peter Baldwin ...
Zeke McGaffey
Richard Shannon ...
Buck Henderson
...
Ed McGaffey
James Bell ...
Judge Thatcher
Howard Petrie ...
Mayor Harvey King
...
Clem Hall
Hal K. Dawson ...
Andy Miller
Jack Kenney ...
Sam Hodges
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Storyline

Veteran bounty-hunter Morg Hickman rides into a town in danger. The sheriff has been killed, and young inexperienced Ben Owens named a temporary replacement until a permanent can be found. Ben wants to be that permanent replacement, so needs to impress the townspeople with his skill. When he finds that Morg was a sheriff for a long time before he became a bounty-hunter, he asks the older man to teach him. Morg thinks that being a sheriff is a foolish goal, but agrees to instruct Ben in handling people, more important to a sheriff than handling a gun. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 January 1958 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Der Stern des Gesetzes  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Throughout the film, Ben is shown wearing two guns, and as Tony Perkins was left handed, whenever he draws his pistol, his left hands is correctly depicted as dominant. Yet at one point in a scene during Ben's search for the McGaffey brothers, his horse with Ben on his back, whirls around to reveal Ben only wearing one gun, and that being holstered on his right hip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sheriff Ben Owens: Uh, ju-just getting the feel of these guns.
Morg Hickman: Where's the sheriff?
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User Reviews

 
Stand-out Western marvelously performed and stunningly directed by expert Anthony Mann
10 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

¨This is the story of the ex-sheriff who'd worn it -till he'd faced one gun too many...the young , novice sheriff he had to teach to wear it- or watch to die and the boy who lived only to wear one of his own ! .. and 40 dollars a month -that's what they gave you for protecting people who ran like rabbits when the going got roguish ! ¨ . The picture deals with a beginner young marshal ( Anthony Perkins ) who persuades veteran bounty hunter (Henry Fonda) to help him to rid a little town of bandits . Meanhile the old gunslinger falls in love with a widow (sensitive acting by Betsy Palmer) who has a half-breed son (agreeable Michael Ray) .

This excellent , meaty Western contains interesting plot , a love story , shootouts and is quite entertaining . This outstanding Mann Western balances action , suspense and drama . It's a classic recounting about teaching an unexperienced marshal in charge of an older veteran ex-sheriff . The highlights of the film are the climatic showdowns , the educating scenes between master and pupil along the river and when the medic's carriage- very well performed by John McIntire- rattles back into little town while the citizens are waiting his arrival . Top-notch Henry Fonda as embittered gunfighter and magnificent Perkins as green lawman . The traditional story and exciting screenplay by Dudley Nichols won Academy Award nominations . Wonderful cinematography in black-and-white is superbly caught by cameraman Loyal Griggs . Atmospheric and lively musical score by the classic Elmer Berstein .

This is another superbly powerful triumph from Perberg and George Seaton , producers of ¨The country girl¨ and ¨The proud and profane ¨. The motion picture is masterfully directed by Anthony Mann who realized various Western masterpieces such as ¨The furies , Devil's doorway and Man of the West ¨ and several with his habitual star, James Stewart, as ¨Winchester 73 , Bend the river , The far country , Man of the West ¨. Rating : Above average ; in spite of absence his ordinary star , Stewart, being perfectly replaced by Fonda , ¨Tin star ¨ is probably one of the best Western in the fifties and sixties . Well worth watching and it will appeal to Anthony Perkins and Henry Fonda fans .


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