10 user 12 critic

Stranger on Horseback (1955)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 23 March 1955 (USA)
A circuit judge in the old west attempts to bring a suspected killer to justice. The judge runs afoul of the killer's rich cattle baron father in the process.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wichita (1955)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1874, after noticing the total lawlessness in Wichita, Wyatt Earp reluctantly accepts the Marshal's job and runs into the worst local troublemakers.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Joel McCrea, Vera Miles, Lloyd Bridges
    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
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1875 Argentina, after killing a man, a gaucho is sentenced to harsh army duty but he deserts the army and becomes a bandit leader.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Gene Tierney, Richard Boone
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Clay Douglas an American, comes to England, to find out the truth behind his brothers death during a commando operation in occupied France. After tracking down the surviving members of the ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Ray Milland, Patricia Roc, Marius Goring
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin
Border River (1954)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Confederate officer and his men journey to Mexico to buy guns to continue the war effort. A Union officer determines to stop them.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: Joel McCrea, Yvonne De Carlo, Pedro Armendáriz
Nightfall (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a series of bizarre coincidences artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, Brian Keith
The Oklahoman (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A doctor stops in a small Midwestern town to bury his wife. He decides to stay there and start a practice,but soon runs into violent cattle ranchers.

Director: Francis D. Lyon
Stars: Joel McCrea, Barbara Hale, Brad Dexter
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Robert Douglas
Cattle Empire (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Released from prison, a trail boss is solicited by rival cattle barons to drive their respective cattle herds to Fort Clemson.

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
Stars: Joel McCrea, Gloria Talbott, Don Haggerty
Easy Living (1949)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Pete Wilson is on top. He is the highest paid professional football player in the league. He has seen other players come and go, but he was MVP last year and the future looks rosy. His wife... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Victor Mature, Lizabeth Scott, Lucille Ball
Adventure | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A wealthy American couple are hostages on an arduous jungle journey.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ann Sheridan, Zachary Scott


Complete credited cast:
... Judge Richard 'Rick' Thorne
... Amy Lee Bannerman
... Tom Bannerman
... Josiah Bannerman
... Col. Buck Streeter
... Caroline Webb
... Sheriff Nat Bell
... Arnold Hammer
Jaclynne Greene ... Paula Morrison (as Jacklyn Green)
... Vince Webb
... Barfly
... Sam Kettering
... Bannerman's Henchman


A circuit judge in the old west attempts to bring a suspected killer to justice. The judge runs afoul of the killer's rich cattle baron father in the process.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A killer's paradise ... then one day a stranger rode in with a challenge ... a stranger the West would never forget ! See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Einer gegen alle  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[After water's thrown in his face.]
Thorne: Thanks, it's a hot day.
Baddie: I don't like what you said.
Thorne: I said it was a hot day.
Baddie: Well, I don't like the way you said it.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Man believes in a thing and he goes ahead.
5 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Stranger on Horseback is directed by Jacques Tourneur and adapted to screenplay by Herb Meadow and Don Martin from a story written by Louis L'Amour. It stars Joel McCrea, Miroslava Šternová, John McIntire, Kevin McCarthy, John Carradine, Nancy Gates and Emile Meyer. Music is scored by Paul Dunlap and cinematography by Ray Rennahan.

Joel McCrea stars as Circuit Judge Richard Thorne, who rides into a town to find it is entirely owned by the Bannerman family, headed by Josiah Bannerman (McIntire). Initially only there to check over the town's books, it comes to light that Josiah's son Tom (McCarthy) has killed a man in cold blood under the guise of self defence and never been brought to trial. Thorne arrests him, and in a town of few friends, sets about staying alive long enough to ensure Tom Bannerman does indeed go to trial.

A mighty unusual judge, Sir.

Clocking in at just 66 minutes long, Stranger on Horseback is very much a quintessential B Western. Filmed in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, picture makes the most of having McCrea in the lead. Where many of the other characters are drawn as standard Western fodder, McCrea really gives a characterisation that is easy to jump on board with. He is like a one man army, but he doesn't need to go all guns blazing, he has his law book and his wits, he knows how to charm the ladies, he is tough and throws a good punch, but he mellows to give a child a silver dollar. He is a man that men want to be and a man that the women want to wed. It's meat and drink for McCrea, with straight back and piercing eyes, his shoulders packing some brawn, it is he that is primarily the reason why the film is so enjoyable.

The story is simple and played out as such, with echoes of High Noon and the like. Friendless man of the badge has to go it alone to ensure what is right is actually achieved. Along the way people will be either hurt or awakened from their stupors, enemies confronted, a lover gained and a finale plays out when it all comes together in a triumphant whirl of machismo. Tourneur and Rennahan ensure the second half of the picture is picturesque, the characters finally out in the open and framed wonderfully against the vistas, while the writers come up with a couple of nifty turn of events to keep the narrative interesting. Away from McCrea the fun turn comes from Carradine, while McIntire and Meyer are as reliable as ever. McCarthy is passable as a Western weasel and Miroslava, who would sadly commit suicide the same year of the film's release, turns up and with a sexy glint in her eye and manages to say her lines correctly.

It's not pushing the boat out or trying to redirect the direction of the 50s Western, but it's one of the more enjoyable B Westerns from that decade. McCrea and Rennahan ensure that is the case. 7.5/10

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 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