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Silver Lode (1954)

Approved | | Western | 23 July 1954 (USA)
In Silver Lode, Dan Ballard is arrested by 4 Marshals for murder and theft but he denies the charges and searches for the real culprit even as the townsfolk start abandoning him.


Allan Dwan


Karen DeWolf (story), Karen DeWolf (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
John Payne ... Dan Ballard
Lizabeth Scott ... Rose Evans
Dan Duryea ... Fred McCarty
Dolores Moran ... Dolly
Emile Meyer ... Sheriff Wooley
Robert Warwick ... Judge Cranston
John Hudson ... Mitch Evans
Harry Carey Jr. ... Johnson
Alan Hale Jr. ... Kirk
Stuart Whitman ... Wicker
Frank Sully ... Paul Herbert
Morris Ankrum ... Zachary Evans
Hugh Sanders ... Reverend Field
Florence Auer ... Mrs. Elmwood
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Dr. Elmwood


Dan Ballard, a respected citizen in the western town of Silver Lode, has his wedding interrupted by four men led by Fred McCarty, an old acquaintance who, as a US Marshal, arrests Ballard for the murder of his brother and the theft of $20,000. Ballard seeks to stall McCarty while tracking down evidence that will prove his innocence: but the townspeople's loyalty to him gradually begins to waver under McCarty's accusations. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WHEN THEY GRIP THEIR GUNS...YOU'LL GRIP YOUR SEAT! Revenge erupts into a frantic man-hunt...in this compelling picture of the Pioneer West! (original ad sheet) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


John Payne is seen throughout the film wearing black cowboy boots, but when his stunt double leaps aboard a wagon, the double is seen to wear low shoes with white socks. See more »


Dan Ballard: This man's accused me of murder.
See more »

User Reviews

Mob Violence
3 November 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Federal Marshal Dan Duryea arrives in the town of Silver Lode with three deputies to arrest one of its citizens, John Payne, on a charge of murder. As things start to happen, Payne who at first has the whole town behind him, loses all his friends save for fiancé Lizabeth Scott and former girl friend Dolores Moran who works in the saloon. By the way, Duryea arrives on the 4th of July which was also to be Payne's wedding day.

This is a classic version of the ill effects of mob violence. Some have said it's a polemic against McCarthyism, no doubt helped by the fact that Duryea's character name is McCarty. For myself Silver Lode is in the tradition of The Oxbow Incident and Fury, both classic films from major studios about vigilante justice.

Silver Lode doesn't have the production values that 20th Century Fox or MGM could bring to a movie, it was done by RKO. Nevertheless supporting Payne, Duryea, and Scott are a solid cast of players, very much at home in westerns. This was also Dolores Moran's last film, she was married to producer Benedict Bogeaus.

Payne had already essayed a very good role in Kansas City Confidential of a wrongly accused man and he follows it up here with an equally good portrayal. It's one of his best film parts.

Allan Dwan keeps things moving at a brisk pace, Silver Lode doesn't bog down for a fraction of a second. One of the best B westerns ever done.

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Release Date:

23 July 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desperate Men See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Eastman Color)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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