6.6/10
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22 user 9 critic

Tribute to a Bad Man (1956)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Western | April 1956 (USA)
With no law within 200 miles horse rancher Jeremy Rodak runs his spread with an iron hand and deals with rustlers even more ruthlessly.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Michael Blankfort (story), Jack Schaefer (short story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Jeremy Rodock
Don Dubbins ... Steve Miller
Stephen McNally ... McNulty
Irene Papas ... Jocasta Constantine
Vic Morrow ... Lars Peterson
James Griffith ... Barjak
Onslow Stevens ... Hearn
James Bell ... L.A. Peterson
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. L.A. Peterson
Chubby Johnson ... Baldy
Royal Dano ... Abe
Lee Van Cleef ... Fat Jones
Peter Chong Peter Chong ... Cooky
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Storyline

Jeremy Rodock is a tough horse rancher who strings up rustlers soon as look at them. Fresh out of Pennsylvania, Steve Miller finds it hard to get used to Rodock's ways, although he takes an immediate shine to his Greek girl Jocasta. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TOUGH AS A DESERT CACTUS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jeremy Rodock See more »

Filming Locations:

Montrose, Colorado, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,846,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Grace Kelly was originally as the female lead, but her upcoming marriage caused her to be replaced by Irene Papas. See more »

Quotes

Fat Jones: [In the bunkhouse: Steve is moving in] Say, friend... You don't just happen to have one of them new mail order catalogues?
Steve Miller: No, I ain't.
Fat Jones: Feller told me they had pictures in them this year - women in corsets.
Wrangler in bunkhouse: Fats, you got a dirty mind. That's why you'll never amount to nothin'.
Fat Jones: I ain't seen a woman - outside 'o Jocasta - in eight months. And you ain't gettin' no prettier.
[Other wrangler gives him the finger]
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing Irene Pappas See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.29 (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Skip to My Lou
(uncredited)
Traditional American song
Performed by Royal Dano on pan flute.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unusual western with strong performances from fine cast...
12 March 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Robert Wise does a commendable job of keeping a strong cast under control in his western saga about a tough horse rancher (JAMES CAGNEY) who believes in swift justice whenever his horses are stolen or his ranch hands are murdered. He's ready with a hangman's knot and exerts control over everyone around him. Eventually, he's softened by the love of a woman (IRENE PAPAS) who comes to respect him when he spares the lives of three men he's bent on punishing--although he does treat them brutally for what they've done to his horses.

It's an interesting yarn with strong characters, but the plot isn't as strong as the characters who inhabit it. STEPHEN McNALLY is a nasty ranch hand determined to avenge Cagney for firing him and coming between him and Irene Papas. VIC MORROW does a standout job as a nearby rancher's son upon whom Cagney thrusts some strong punishment.

It's photographed in gorgeous Technicolor with its Widescreen lenses capturing magnificent landscapes. Miklos Rozsa's score is often given a muted treatment beneath the more intimate scenes and only occasionally veers into stronger flourishes for the darker moments. In other words, it's not one of his more memorable scores but the main theme has a robust flavor to it.

Cagney and Papas carry most of the weight as far as performances go, but DON DUBBINS (who looks like a Robert Redford clone in a boyishly handsome sort of way), does a standout job as the young ranch hand who saves Cagney's life and is rewarded with a job as a wrangler who comes to detest the brutality of the vigilante justice.

Summing up: A compelling western yarn that benefits from strong performances.


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