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One Foot in Hell (1960)

In this Western, Alan Ladd exacts revenge on a small town the best way he knows how -- by becoming sheriff.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mitch Garrett
...
Dan Keats
...
Sir Harry Ivers
...
Julie Reynolds
Barry Coe ...
Stu Christian
Larry Gates ...
Doc Seltzer
...
Sheriff Ole Olson
John Alexander ...
Sam Giller - Storekeeper
Rachel Stephens ...
Ellie Barrett
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Storyline

Mitch Barrett becomes embittered because his wife is allowed to die when he can't pay for the medicine she needs. The remorseful townspeople hire Mitch to be a deputy sheriff, thereby enabling him to plot an elaborate bank robbery with the help of an artist, a pickpocket, a gunslinger and a bar-girl. In conjunction with the robbery, Mitch plans to avenge himself upon every man who hindered his purchase of a single bottle of medicine costing one dollar and eighty seven cents so many years ago. Written by David Bassler

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One foot in hell is one of the most exciting... one of the most powerful human epics in the story of the West! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 July 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gunslinger  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,090,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Dan: You know somethin'? The way you plan things, sorta slow and careful - you must want that money real bad.
Mitch: Not as much as I once wanted a dollar and eighty-seven cents.
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User Reviews

 
For $1.87
24 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Alan Ladd's last western is this strange little item that did not get much play back in 1960, confined to second place on double bills. He should have done this one earlier when he was a much bigger box office name.

Ladd plays a settler traveling west and his wife comes down with some prairie malady. Going off to the nearest town he gets a prescription for a $1.87 worth of medicine. But then he runs afoul of some of the town louts and gets delayed long enough so that his wife sickens and dies.

The town fathers feel real sorry for him. In fact they feel so bad that they offer him the job of deputy sheriff. But when the sheriff dies and Ladd becomes sheriff it's the first step in an elaborate plan for revenge on the town. He hates each and every citizen of this place because of the death of wife Rachel Stephens.

Ladd puts together a gang in secret to rob the town bank at a proper moment when it's bulging with cash. Among others in his scheme are drunken cowboy Don Murray and working girl Dolores Michaels. Murray's part is very similar to the one he had the year before with James Cagney in Shake Hands With The Devil. In fact if you've seen that film, you know what happens in One Foot In Hell.

What could have been a great comeback role for Ladd goes for naught. I'm not sure it was his drinking at the time. More like it was wife Sue Carol who at this point was mismanaging his career. And face it, his day had past.

But next to what he was about to do over in Italy in Duel of the Champions, One Foot In Hell comes out like Stagecoach. It's not a bad film, as good as any of the B westerns that Audie Murphy was doing at this time. Still had he been 10 years younger and the film had been distributed differently, say with Paramount's studio power back in the day when he was their biggest star, One Foot In Hell could have been a classic.

As it is, it's not bad viewing. Note the script was by an up and coming television giant, Aaron Spelling.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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