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Lawman (1971)

 -  Western  -  4 August 1971 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,242 users  
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A lawman from Bannock arrives in Sabbath to arrest all the cattlemen whose wild celebration the year before resulted in the accidental death of an old man.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Watson ...
Choctaw Lee (as William C. Watson)
Walter Brooke ...
Robert Emhardt ...
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Storyline

While passing through the town of Bannock, a bunch of drunken, trail-weary cattlemen go overboard with their celebrating and accidentally kill an old man with a stray shot. They return home to Sabbath unaware of his death. Bannock lawman Jered Maddox later arrives there to arrest everyone involved on a charge of murder. Sabbath is run by land baron Vince Bronson, a benevolent despot, who, upon hearing of the death, offers restitution for the incident. Maddox, however, will not compromise even though small ranchers like Vern Adams are not in a position to desert their responsibilities for a long and protracted trial. Sabbath's marshal, Cotton Ryan, is an aging lawman whose tough reputation rests on a single incident that occurred years before. Ryan admits to being only a shadow of what he once was and incapable of stopping Maddox. Maddox confides to Ryan that Bannock's judicial system is weak and corrupt, and while he's doubtful that anyone he brings back will suffer more than the ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gave the West justice right up to its neck... then rammed more down its throat.

Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem da Lei  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

SEK 530,187 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1971, United Artists distributed this film on a double bill with The Organization (1971) starring Sidney Poitier. See more »

Goofs

When Vernon Adams (Robert Duvall) first aims down on Maddox (Burt Lancaster) with his rifle from above, Maddox is riding away from him up a long draw. Immediately afterward, Maddox is still traveling up the draw and looks up and sees Vernon in front of him and above him aiming down at him. The positions switched 180 degrees. See more »

Quotes

Lucas: I know what you're doin' is wrong, Maddox. You were wrong in San Antonio. You're wrong here.
Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox: Not from where I stand.
Lucas: You can't see from where you stand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Girls in the Night Traffic (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Great, Often Misunderstood Western
20 March 2004 | by (Long Island Motor Parkway) – See all my reviews

There are many fine performances in this film. Robert Ryan is the former hero who now admits he "eats dirt" for a living. Sheree North is at her finest as a lady with a past whose love for her man is unappreciated. Robert Duvall plays an interesting character who pleads not to have his life ruined (but watch the opening scenes closely to see just what he does to someone else's livelihood). Lee J. Cobb gives his usual strong performance as a guy who leads a wild bunch but gave up being wild long ago. I've read many of the reviews on imdb concerning this western, & I have to conclude that only a few writers have understood it well. It's about good & evil, yes, but who is good & who is evil? Does "good" have to be 100% good & does "evil" have to be 100% evil? Obviously not, & that's what this film is about. And towards the very end of the film, just when we think we've figured out who is "mostly good" & who is "mostly evil" we find that even then we may be mistaken. Throughout the film, it seems easy to understand Burt Lancaster's character, because he's so "black & white" & so one dimensional. That's what makes the ending so shocking & so thought provoking: we find out we didn't know Sheriff Maddox (Lancaster) at all, we just thought we did. And aren't appearances deceiving? When I watched it on DVD, "Lawman" caused quite an extended discussion amongst viewers following the film's conclusion, mostly about "Just what happened there?!" That's the sign of an outstanding film, so I rate it 9/10.


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