In the turn-of-the century Texas town of Cottownwood Springs, marshal Frank Patch is an old-style lawman in a town determined to become modern. When he kills drunken Luke Mills in ... See full summary »
In the turn-of-the century Texas town of Cottownwood Springs, marshal Frank Patch is an old-style lawman in a town determined to become modern. When he kills drunken Luke Mills in self-defense, the town leaders decide it's time for a change. That ask for Patch's resignation, but he refuses on the basis that the town on hiring him had promised him the job for as long as he wanted it. Afraid for the town's future and even more afraid of the fact that Marshal Patch knows all the town's dark secrets, the city fathers decide that old-style violence is the only way to rid themselves of the unwanted lawman. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Star Richard Widmark and original director Robert Totten had "artistic differences," and Totten was replaced by Don Siegel. When the film was completed, Siegel, saying that Totten directed more of the film than he did, refused to take screen credit for it, but Widmark didn't want Totten's name on it. A compromise was reached whereby the film was credited to the fictitious "Alan Smithee" (originally to be called Al Smith, but the DGA said there had already been a director by that name), thereby setting a precedent for directors who, for one reason or another, did not want their name on a film they made. See more »
We don't have any law in this jerkwater town - he's the law! He's passed his sentence on practically everything and everyone. The people should be the law and will be the law, when they get the urge to get rid of Frank Patch. You see, gentlemen, what we're really deciding here is whether we move forward or backward. We either need to keep up with the times or we lose out.
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A Western that shows how the "West growed itself up and got itself civilized".Richard Widmark gives what is probably his last great performance as a Sheriff whose way a doing things don't sit right with the "powers-that-be" personified by town merchant Carrol O Conner.This movie ,like Invitaion to a Gunfighter made some years before it reveals just how gutless and desperate the power-brokers are when there's no one to do their bidding.The film still holds up (even with the much mentioned two directors)though it has that "back-lot"look to most of it.John Saxon has a brief but memorable piece of work in this must see film for western fans or good movie fans.
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