6.8/10
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10 user 9 critic

The Tattered Dress (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1957 (Argentina)
When top lawyer James Blane gets an acquittal for a man who killed another man for sexually roughing up his trophy wife, the murderous town sheriff frames him for bribing a juror in the case.

Director:

Jack Arnold
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Chandler ... James Gordon Blane
Jeanne Crain ... Diane Blane
Jack Carson ... Sheriff Nick Hoak
Gail Russell ... Carol Morrow
Elaine Stewart ... Charleen Reston
George Tobias ... Billy Giles
Edward Andrews ... Lester Rawlings
Phillip Reed ... Michael Reston
Edward Platt ... Ralph Adams - Reporter (as Edward C. Platt)
Paul Birch ... Prosecutor Frank Mitchell
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Paul Vernon
Edwin Jerome Edwin Jerome ... Judge David L. Johnson
William Schallert ... Court Clerk
June McCall ... Girl at Slot Machine
Frank J. Scannell Frank J. Scannell ... Cal Morrison - Blackjack Dealer (as Frank Scannell)
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Storyline

After a wild night, wealthy Michael Reston's adulterous wife Charleen comes home with her ripe young body barely concealed by a dress in rags; murder results. Top defense lawyer J.G. Blane, whose own marriage exists in name only, arrives in Desert View, Nevada to find the townsfolk and politically powerful Sheriff Hoak distinctly hostile to the Restons. In due course, Blane discovers he's been "taken for a ride," and that quiet desert communities can be deadly... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of The Tattered Dress ... that exposed a town's hidden evil !

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1957 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

El vestido roto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The Hollywood Reporter review mistakenly states that 'The Tattered Dress' , a black-and-white film, was shot in Technicolor. A 27 July 1956 an HR news item adds Carol Morris to the cast, and a 22 August 1956 HR news item states that Frankie Van was cast as a news reporter, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. (source AFI) See more »

Quotes

Michael Reston: When I spill a drink on the carpet, my butler cleans up after me.
James Gordon Blane: When you spill blood, your lawyer is expected to do the same.
Michael Reston: Exactly.
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User Reviews

 
The Wrong Sheriff to Mess With
22 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Tattered Dress is a very under rated film that I wish would be broadcast more often. I saw it many times during the sixties and seventies and haven't seen it for years. But the performances do stand out.

The one who stands out the most is Jack Carson. This is no doubt his best screen dramatic performance. Carson usually was cast as amiable blow hard types who usually meant well, but could be very dense. In The Tattered Dress as the mean sadistic sheriff he really should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in this one.

Jeff Chandler plays a high price defense attorney who's come to Carson's town to defend a married couple accused of a murder that has generated national headlines. Chandler is usually well paid for his services and this is no exception.

While there Chandler makes the acquaintance of Carson. Carson's a local celebrity himself, his former gridiron exploits locally helped him first get elected sheriff. However Chandler's a real national celebrity and Carson fawns all over him.

What happens though is that Carson gives Chandler a confidence that when the trial comes, Chandler uses to impeach Carson's testimony and make him a figure of ridicule on the stand. Because of that his clients get acquitted.

Carson exacts his revenge by framing Chandler on a jury tampering charge and uses every avenue to close any loopholes Chandler might find as his own defense attorney.

The Tattered Dress is one of Jeff Chandler's best films, but as good as he is, Jack Carson gives us his career performance. He's an incredible study of pure evil in power. A person totally unable to deal with others professionally. Chandler was an attorney advocating for his clients, admittedly not a pair of the noblest creatures on earth, but in the final analysis was just doing his job. Carson can't separate that out. I've known some and worked for some people like that in real life. Bad when they get into positions of authority.

Elaine Stewart and Philip Reed are Chandler's wealthy clients who take a powder on him when he gets in a jackpot. Jeanne Crain is Chandler's estranged wife who still stands by him and Gail Russell in one of her last film roles is the woman who accuses Chandler of jury tampering. They all fill their roles nicely, but a special mention should go to George Tobias, a comedian who Chandler got off on a murder charge himself, but at the cost of his career. He serves as a gopher/confidante to Chandler and has a tragic end.

I truly wish The Tattered Dress was out on VHS or DVD. It's a terrific story that is well acted and written. Absolutely a must see for fans of Jeff Chandler and Jack Carson.


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