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Terror in a Texas Town (1958)

 -  Western  -  September 1958 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 874 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 14 critic

A Swedish whaler is out for revenge when he finds out that a greedy oil man murdered his father for their land.

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, (front for Dalton Trumbo)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George Hansen
...
Ed McNeil
Carol Kelly ...
Molly
Eugene Mazzola ...
Pepe Mirada (as Eugene Martin)
Nedrick Young ...
Johnny Crale (as Ned Young)
Victor Millan ...
Jose Mirada
Frank Ferguson ...
Deacon Matt Holmes
Marilee Earle ...
Mona Stacey
Edit

Storyline

Sven Hanson is one of a number of farmers whom Ed McNeil wants to run off their land (because he knows there's oil on it). When Hanson is murdered by McNeil's gunman, Johnny Crale, Hanson's friend Pepe Mirada hides his knowledge of the murderer's identity in order to protect his family. When Hanson's son George arrives and takes up his father's cause, not only Mirada but also Johnny Crale begin to reevaluate their attitudes. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

oil | whaler | revenge | horse | gunshot wound | See more »

Taglines:

When the Texas Plains Ran With Blood and Black Gold!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sturm über Texas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nedrick Young, who plays Johnny Crale, actually wrote much of the script, but because he had been blacklisted as a "subversive" during the McCarthy Red Scare period, he was not credited for it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Whaler and the Western.
21 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Joseph H. Lewis was something of a B movie king, with his best directorial efforts coming in the Western and Film-Noir genres. After this Sterling Hayden starrer he signed off from Hollywood for good, as a legacy it's difficult to say if it's a fitting point of reference to Lewis or entirely apt for his career. It's a quirky, even bizarre, picture that manages thru its surreal like tendencies to detract from its hackneyed Western plot.

Set in Prairie City, Texas, the tale revolves around George Hanson (Hayden), a Swedish whaler who after 19 years away, returns to Prairie to find his father has been murdered. As he delves deeper with a staunch undaunted determination, he finds that the law is corrupt and a horrible land baron called McNeil {Sebastian Cabot}-aided by gunslinger for hire Johnny Crale {Ned Young}-is behind his fathers death. It appears there is oil in the land and McNeil is using force to buy up the land at ridiculously cheap prices. But if he thought George was going to be forgiving? Or going to be easily frightened? Well he and Crale are in for some big shocks.

Shot in stark black and white, Lewis' film throws up the always interesting conflict between homespun virtue and greedy evility. With compelling villains and nicely drawn characterisations for the decent citizens on the periphery of the protagonists struggle {note Victor Millan's poor Mexican farmer and Carol Kelly's downbeat girlfriend of Crale}; it's a very watchable movie: with one exception that is. Sterling Hayden was a good actor in his pomp, but here, with a robotically awful Swedish accent, he almost drags the film to the depths of Z movie status. In his favour, tho, is the nagging doubt that he may be in tune with the quirky nature of the beast? Who knows? He may have been acting to orders for this one? There's some controversy in the tid-bids here. The script was credited to Ben Perry, but actually was written by Dalton Trumbo who was blacklisted. Hayden, although not blacklisted, appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and simultaneously admitted past communist affiliations and named names. Lewis was not involved in the unsavoury chapter but was a close friend of Ned Young, who's impact on the film was to not only be in it, but to also be instrumental in getting Lewis to direct it. Boy was that an interesting time in American history.

Stylish, odd and certainly different, Terror In A Texas Town has enough about it to make it worthy of a night in . 7/10


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