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Tension at Table Rock (1956)

Passed | | Western | 3 October 1956 (USA)
A reluctant gunslinger tires of having to defend himself at every cow town he visits, so he adopts an alias and continues his wandering. At an outpost run by a father and young son, he gets... See full summary »


Winston Miller (screenplay), Frank Gruber (novel)




Cast overview:
Richard Egan ... Wes Tancred
Dorothy Malone ... Lorna Miller
Cameron Mitchell ... Sheriff Fred Miller
Billy Chapin ... Jody Burrows
Royal Dano ... Harry Jameson
Edward Andrews ... Kirk
John Dehner ... Hampton
DeForest Kelley ... Jim Breck
Joe De Santis ... Ed Burrows (as Joe DeSantis)
Angie Dickinson ... Cathy
Paul Richards ... Sam Murdock


A reluctant gunslinger tires of having to defend himself at every cow town he visits, so he adopts an alias and continues his wandering. At an outpost run by a father and young son, he gets involved with a robbery in progress, and agrees to take the son to the boy's uncle, a sheriff in Table Rock, for his safety. Once there he finds the town gearing up for the arrival of a cattle drive and the unruly cowboys. He strives to remain uninvolved as the sheriff tries to get his help with the cowboys, but the sheriff nurses bad memories from an earlier incident that may threaten his effectiveness. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A man like SHANE...the suspense of HIGH NOON!




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is an almost textbook western, with many western regulars, like Royal Dano, Dabbs Greer, Dub Taylor and DeForest Kelley. Composer Dimitri Tiomkin also wrote the music for dozens of westerns--most notably High Noon (1952)--and was one of Hollywood's top composers. See more »


Wes Tancred: I was just telling Cathy I'm pulling out.
Sam Murdock: Oh? Well, any particular reason, Wes?
Wes Tancred: What happened to Ard out there?
Sam Murdock: Oh, well, they'd have strung him up anyway, so I did him a favor.
Wes Tancred: Well, I'm pulling out before you do me any favors.
See more »


Featured in Film Preview: Episode #1.2 (1966) See more »


The Ballad of Wes Tancred
Music by Josef Myrow
Lyrics by Robert Wells
Sung by Eddy Arnold
See more »

User Reviews

Great Title, Good Film
10 February 2001 | by abooboo-2See all my reviews

Not to be confused with "Bad Day At Black Rock", but just about as good especially considering it was made when RKO was really struggling. It's deliberately paced and quite absorbing with fine performances from Richard Egan (a lumbering, mostly humorless actor who nevertheless had dramatic weight) as a guilt-ridden gunman, and Cameron Mitchell as a physically and emotionally scarred sheriff who wrestles with his cowardice. (I'd even go so far as saying Mitchell gives a great performance - he does some real interesting things with the character.) The highlights for me were the courtroom scene, where Egan gives a moving little speech on how a man is through when he deceives himself (it's a real turning point for both characters) and a showdown at the end that plays out in an understated but completely satisfying way. I also liked the psychological intimidation tactic of the cattle drivers mimicking in unison the footsteps of various townspeople as they walk along. The one real flaw would have to be the way the same cattle drivers are so antagonistic towards the folks in town. Rowdy and reckless, sure, but their hostility seems unmotivated and certainly counter-intuitive.

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Release Date:

3 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tension at Table Rock See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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