Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go too far and kill one of his migrant workmen, the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's.
In Tomahawk, the crooked Jackman brothers control the town, Sheriff Dunham is up for re-election, the sheep growers are banned in town and a stagecoach line undercover investigator arrives to catch the gang that regularly robs the stages.
Film produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union -- featuring several well-known Broadway actors -- recreates Triangle Fire of 1911 and compares working conditions of the 1910's with the 1950's.
An ex-con is given the chance to redeem himself, and revenge the murder of an old army buddy, by going undercover in Germany and helping the authorities break up a ring of international ... See full summary »
Convicted murderess Valerie Carns (Ann Blyth) is being transported to Norwich to be executed when a flood strands her and her guards at a convent hospital. Nurse Sister Mary (Claudette ... See full summary »
In effect, modern cow town Spurline is run by Virgil Renchler, owner of the Golden Empire Ranch. One night, two of Virgil's henchmen go a little too far and beat a "bracero" ranch hand to death. Faced with an obvious cover-up and opposition on every hand, sheriff Ben Sadler is goaded into investigating. His unlikely ally: Renchler's lovely, self-willed and overprotected daughter. Will Ben survive Renchler's wrath?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The role of Virgil Renchler was originally supposed to be played by Robert Middleton. The William Morris Agency instead suggested Orson Welles, who badly needed money to pay income taxes he owned to the Internal Revenue Service. See more »
Many characters comment about the heat, saying the temperature must be well over 100 degrees, yet even though they are all wearing long sleeves, ties, even suits, no one is ever sweating. The only ones with even a bit moisture on them are the old man and one of the henchmen. See more »
Seems like shapely actress Colleen Miller appears outside her regular clothes about as often as in them, as in nightgown and underwear. But then, the movie posters had to have something provocative to promote.
The premise itself has been around the block more than a few times—a reluctant lawman stands up to local tyrant despite opposition from frightened townspeople. Still, the movie works pretty well up to two points where the screenplay buckles—the rope dragging and the town turn-around. Neither of these is very believable within context. But then, the film is on a budget and does have to motivate a wrap-up.
I gather producer Zugsmith helped finance Welles' next feature Touch of Evil (1957) in return for appearing here. The part is relatively small, and Welles underplays without the needed malevolence. Seems almost like he's walking through. Nonetheless, it's a solid cast of supporting players, familiar faces from thuggish Leo Gordon to Dragnet's Ben Alexander taking a break from the LAPD. The support works well to provide more color than usual.
Rather sad to see that earnest actor Jeff Chandler again, knowing he died unnecessarily at 42 as result of medical malpractice (a foreign object left inside following an operation, as I recall). He's quite good here as the conflicted sheriff struggling to do his duty.
All in all, it's a decent enough programmer, better than Zugsmith's usual quickie fare, thanks in large part (I expect) to under-rated director Jack Arnold.
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