7.1/10
182
17 user 4 critic

Hellfire (1949)

Approved | | Western | 29 May 1949 (USA)
A reformed gambler turned preacher, partners with a pretty, female fugitive outlaw, runs into an old pal who's also a marshal and they both fall for the same bad gal.

Director:

Writers:

, (as Stuart McGowan)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a card game Southerner Owen Pentecost finds himself the owner of a Denver hotel. Involved with two women - one who came with the hotel, and one newly arrived from the East to open a ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Virginia Mayo, Robert Stack, Ruth Roman
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

About a man accused of murdering a British soldier during post WW2 mayhem. His girlfriend works on his behalf to expose the true villain.

Director: Compton Bennett
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Mai Zetterling, Philip Friend
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a San Francisco priest is murdered, a policeman, who's a close friend, starts an investigation.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Tony Curtis, Marisa Pavan, Gilbert Roland
High Wall (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Robert Taylor, Audrey Totter, Herbert Marshall
The Mob (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Betty Buehler, Richard Kiley
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Old Los Angeles finds Bill Stockton leaving Missouri to join his brother Larry, and prospect for gold in California. Bill and his pal, Sam Bowie, arrive in the picturesque town of old Los ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: Bill Elliott, John Carroll, Catherine McLeod
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Out-of-work cowboys Kansas Jones and Chito Rafferty are offered jobs at pretty Dusty Willis' ranch after saving her from a beating by saloon owner Clint Burrows. Dusty's good-hearted but ... See full summary »

Director: Lesley Selander
Stars: Tim Holt, Richard Martin, Jacqueline White
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The arrival in Las Vegas of a businessman and his glamorous wife creates a complex web of murder and deceit.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Jane Russell, Victor Mature, Vincent Price
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman's murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Griffith Jones
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Powder Kilgore (Ray Bennett as Raphael Bennett) kills freighter Jeff Cameron (Edward LeSaint) and the latter's daughter, "Spunky" (Iris Meredith), sends for gunfighter Wild Bill Saunders (... See full summary »

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bill Elliott, Iris Meredith, Dub Taylor
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During California's gold-rush, an undercover marshal, posing as a gunfighter, investigates the murder of another marshal who had been assigned to the region.

Director: Thomas Carr
Stars: Bill Elliott, Virginia Grey, Harry Morgan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Zeb Smith (as William Elliott)
... Mary Carson / Doll Brown
... Marshal Bucky McLean
... Gyp Stoner
... Brother Joseph
... Dusty Stoner
... Sheriff Martin
... Sheriff Duffy
... Birdie
... Full Moon
Louis Faust ... Red Stoner (as Louis R. Faust)
... Lew Stoner
... Rex
... Wilson
... Cheyenne Bartender
Edit

Storyline

Zeb Smith is a gambler with a larcenous streak, but when an itinerant preacher takes a bullet meant for him, Zeb vows to fulfill the preacher's mission of building a church. Frustrated in his attempts to get donations, Zeb attempts to capture fugitive Doll Brown in order to obtain the reward. But he finds that there's more to Doll than meets the eye. When his old friend Bucky McLean shows up gunning for Doll, Zeb sees a chance to redeem them all... one way or another. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some men live by making rules ... some women live by breaking 'em !

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kopfpreis 5000 Dollar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Man, with his misdeeds, kindles his own hellfire!
See more »

Soundtracks

Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me
Written by Billy Reeves and Frank Campbell
Arranged by Sol Meyer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Violence and religion mix in this fascinating Trucolor western
2 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

HELLFIRE stands out by virtue of its unusual religious angle, which is carefully integrated into the standard Republic Pictures B-western framework in a way that strikes me as much more dramatically sound and emotionally honest than if such a plot had been treated in an A-western. Just imagine how sanctimonious THE GUNFIGHTER or SHANE would have been if the title characters, played by Gregory Peck and Alan Ladd, respectively, had suddenly gotten religion. The strength of HELLFIRE is its acknowledgment of the difficulty of grappling with a new-found faith in the violent hard-boiled landscape of the Republic Pictures western. The hero is only slowly finding his way and is still bound by such old habits as using his fists and firing his gun when trouble rears its head. His efforts to follow the "rule book" (the bible) are generally met with scorn and hostility by the people he encounters.

William (Wild Bill) Elliott stars as Zeb Smith, a dishonest gambler who takes the high road after an old preacher takes a bullet for him. (The preacher is played by H.B. Warner, who'd played Christ in De Mille's 1927 silent version of KING OF KINGS.) Femme fatale extraordinaire Marie Windsor plays Doll Brown, a bitter, unrepentant female outlaw in men's clothes who hooks up with Zeb as she tries to outrun Marshal Bucky McLean (Forrest Tucker) and the vengeful Stoner brothers, a motley trio that includes western regulars Jim Davis and Paul Fix. The plot follows the efforts of Zeb to get Doll to change her ways as he joins her on her mission to locate her long-lost sister. He even admits to her that his initial goal was to turn her in for the reward so he can fulfill the late preacher's dream of building a church. He puts himself in a difficult position in trying to gain her trust, but also risks becoming a wanted man himself as he aids Doll in her flight from justice.

Elliott was pretty wooden as an actor, although he looks and sounds the part just perfectly, but his low-key performance plays well off the standard Republic western histrionics of the rest of the cast (Tucker, Davis, Fix, Grant Withers, Denver Pyle, etc.). But as an acting showcase, it's clearly Marie Windsor's show all the way as she propels the action and provides the emotional core (and heart-wrenching finale).

The film is shot in that beautifully harsh palette of Trucolor that turns everything blue-green or orange-brown, giving the proceedings an otherworldly alternate-pulp western-dimension look.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial