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Firecreek (1968)

Approved | | Western | 1968 (UK)
A peace-loving, part-time sheriff in the small town of Firecreek must take a stand when a gang of vicious outlaws takes over his town.

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Writer:

(as Calvin Clements)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
'Evelyn' / Evelyn Pittman
...
Earl
...
Whittier
...
Preacher Broyles
...
Mr. Pittman
...
Norman
...
Drew
...
Meli (as Barbara Luna)
...
Henrietta Cobb
...
Leah
Robert Porter ...
Arthur (as J. Robert Porter)
...
Willard
...
Hall
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Storyline

Farmer and family man Johnny Cobb moonlights as a $2 a month sheriff in the quiet little town of Firecreek. When a gang of freebooters passes through, their leader Larkin, who is suffering from a minor wound, decides to spend the night. The gang members prove to be vicious, sadistic sociopaths who take advantage of the frightened townspeople, humiliating them for their own perverse amusement. Although Larkin disapproves of their behavior, his leadership role is tenuous, and he is reluctant to test it by exercising control over his men. The mild-mannered Cobb also seems hesitant to challenge the gang's antisocial behavior. Things come to a head when Meli, an Indian woman with a mixed race child, is sexually attacked by one of vicious psychopaths. Arthur, a mentally-challenged stable boy, comes to her aid and accidentally kills him. Cobb locks up Arthur pending a trial, but when the sheriff visits his pregnant wife, the gang breaks into the jail and lynches the boy. Cobb now realizes ... Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JAMES STEWART as the farmer sheriff with a badge carved out of tin. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die fünf Vogelfreien  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production has several links to the Gunsmoke (1955) TV series. Producers Philip Leacock and 'John Mantley' (qvb) were producers of "Gunsmoke" during the mid-'60s, Calvin Clements was the story consultant on the series during Mantley's tenure, Morgan Woodward was a frequent guest-star during the final ten seasons and Gary Lockwood played the main villain in "The Raid," a two-part 1965 episode directed by Vincent McEveety. See more »

Goofs

When leaving the church service that was held in the general store, as Johnny Cobb bids farewell to the preacher, the boom mike is visible in the store's door window. See more »

Quotes

Bob Larkin: [to Evelyn, defending his continued choice of the outlaw life] I can't gamble with bein' nobody. I been that! It don't work for me!
See more »

Connections

Edited into La classe américaine (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Bringing in the Sheaves
(uncredited)
Music by George A. Minor and lyrics by Knowles Shaw
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User Reviews

 
Moving, Powerful, Unheralded Western Masterpiece
24 August 2003 | by (LA) – See all my reviews

I got tired of reading reviews containing either outright misinformation (suggesting the writer saw some other movie) or downright absurdity. From the top notch performances to the stirring Alfred Newman score to the brilliant Vincent McEveety direction to the detailed Calvin Clements script, this a western I can recommend wholeheartedly. This movie finally deserves its due, and a decent DVD release. Rather than falling into the spaghetti western mold popular at the time, this film looks and feels very American, a direct heir to the great Anthony Mann westerns of the 50s.

Jimmy Stewart, mystifyingly maligned in other reviews, gives a sincere moving performance. I wonder if the criticism comes at his farmer character's reluctance towards violence--disappointing no doubt to fans of "cartoon" westerns. The gritty realism extends to the easy, natural relationship among the gang played by Henry Fonda, Gary Lockwood, James Best, Jack Elam, and Morgan Woodward. This gang is the catalyst and their details, ticks and volatile unpredictability are portrayed with beautifully understated precision. And J. Robert Porter as the town simpleton will break your heart.

There's so much fine work by the cast, particularly Stewart, Fonda, Lockwood (who played another superb villain in the electrifying two-part "Gunsmoke" episode, "The Raid"), Best, Elam, Brooke Bundy, Jacqueline Scott, Louise Latham, Barbara Luna and Ed Begley. A dark, gritty, suspenseful western to be sure, but with a warm heart and soul at its center. Seek it out.


57 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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