6.9/10
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22 user 15 critic

Man in the Shadow (1957)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 22 January 1958 (USA)
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.

Director:

Jack Arnold

Writer:

Gene L. Coon
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Chandler ... Ben Sadler
Orson Welles ... Virgil Renchler
Colleen Miller Colleen Miller ... Skippy Renchler
Ben Alexander ... Ab Begley
Barbara Lawrence ... Helen Sadler
John Larch ... Ed Yates
James Gleason ... Hank James
Royal Dano ... Aiken Clay
Paul Fix ... Herb Parker
Leo Gordon ... Chet Huneker
Martin Garralaga ... Jesus Cisneros
Mario Siletti ... Tony Santoro
Charles Horvath ... Len Bookman
William Schallert ... Jim Shaney
Joseph J. Greene Joseph J. Greene ... Harry Youngquist
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

VIOLENCE AND FEAR GRIPPED THIS LAND OF THE LAWLESS! (all original posters-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Seeds of Wrath See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Last film of Barbara Lawrence. See more »

Goofs

When the sheriff is talking to Bill Edmunds (Mort Mills) at the front gate of the Golden Empire ranch the spotlight on the sheriffs car is mounted up high on the windshield post. After arriving at the house the spotlight is mounted on the lower portion of the windshield post. See more »

Quotes

Ab Begley: [Referring to Cisneros' accusations] Ben, you're not going to take this seriously?
Ben Sadler: They pay me to take things seriously.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in E! Mysteries & Scandals: Orson Welles (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Give this "B" a "B"
26 January 2004 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

In a bit of a departure for its time, this movie begins with a brief pre-credits sequence, and it delays some of its credits till the very end. (During these closing credits, music is played which was also used in "It Came from Outer Space.")

Aside from these minor touches, however, "Man in the Shadow" is a traditional, straightforward effort which would have once fitted unobtrusively into the bottom half of a double-bill. By 1957, however, these "B" movies were rapidly being replaced by TV programming and "Man in the Shadow" could easily have been converted into a one-hour television drama. The script might have been edited down by eliminating the role of Orson Welles' teenage daughter who only figures tangentially into the plot and who does not provide any "romantic interest" for Jeff Chandler since his character is already happily married.

The plot is one of those "politically correct" affairs about the small-town lawman standing up against a powerful citizen in defense of a racial-minority member. The lawman's urged by his family and friends to leave well enough alone but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

You might expect here one of Orson Welles' flamboyant (a.k.a. "hammy") performances but he's surprisingly restrained due, one suspects, simply to lack of interest in such a minor project. Jeff Chandler, amazingly enough, seems more compelling, and in the movie's most memorable moment he's dragged by his wrists down Main Street, sometimes on his belly, behind a pick-up truck.

Jack Arnold directed this movie competently but without distinctive touches in a series of standard expository scenes. It pales in comparison to his other 1957 movie, "The Incredible Shrinking Man."


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