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The Tin Star (1957)

Approved | | Western | 6 November 1957 (USA)
A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Joel Kane (story), Dudley Nichols | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Morgan 'Morg' Hickman
Anthony Perkins ... Sheriff Ben Owens
Betsy Palmer ... Nona Mayfield
Michel Ray ... Kip Mayfield
Neville Brand ... Bart Bogardus
John McIntire ... Dr. Joe McCord
Mary Webster ... Millie Parker
Peter Baldwin ... Zeke McGaffey
Richard Shannon Richard Shannon ... Buck Henderson
Lee Van Cleef ... Ed McGaffey
James Bell ... Judge Thatcher
Howard Petrie ... Mayor Harvey King
Russell Simpson ... Clem Hall
Hal K. Dawson Hal K. Dawson ... Andy Miller
Jack Kenney ... Sam Hodges
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Storyline

Veteran bounty-hunter Morg Hickman rides into a town in danger. The sheriff has been killed, and young inexperienced Ben Owens named a temporary replacement until a permanent can be found. Ben wants to be that permanent replacement, so needs to impress the townspeople with his skill. When he finds that Morg was a sheriff for a long time before he became a bounty-hunter, he asks the older man to teach him. Morg thinks that being a sheriff is a foolish goal, but agrees to instruct Ben in handling people, more important to a sheriff than handling a gun. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For $40 a month and a shiny Tin Star... the young sheriff faced the mob alone... except for the angry ex-sheriff who couldn't watch him die and a hero-worshiping boy who lived only for the day he'd wear a TIn Star of his own! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Stern des Gesetzes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Stewart was originally supposed to play Morgan Hickman. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, Ben is shown wearing two guns, and as Tony Perkins was left handed, whenever he draws his pistol, his left hands is correctly depicted as dominant. Yet at one point in a scene during Ben's search for the McGaffey brothers, his horse with Ben on his back, whirls around to reveal Ben only wearing one gun, and that being holstered on his right hip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sheriff Ben Owens: Uh, ju-just getting the feel of these guns.
Morg Hickman: Where's the sheriff?
See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Melody: "Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre"
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Western for Thinking People...
25 January 2013 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

1957 was a good year for movies and amongst all the strong contenders, The Tin Star still managed to get Oscar nominated for best original screenplay, by the same screenwriter that brought that real trail- blazing classic, Stagecoach, to life.

Anthony Mann's black & white Western isn't a long, sprawling John Ford epic, nor does it feature Ford's often comical characters but at a fairly concise 92 mins it feels like a real book - a story that's never hurried and which includes proper characterisation and dialogue. Those wanting John Wayne spitting into the dust and cowboys and Indians need look elsewhere...

I've always liked Henry Fonda - and whilst many have pointed out that Mann's main man had previously been James Stewart, Fonda takes that slim thoughtfulness that Stewart eschewed and added dignity as well as grit - maybe somewhere between a Wayne and Stewart mix. You can never take your eyes off Henry Fonda - tall, dark and brooding if there ever was one. Anthony Perkins is (of course) very different to Norman Bates in Psycho and for those of us who saw him in that long before this earlier work, will not be disappointed. Fonda plays the older, wiser but now turned to bounty hunter ex lawman, who helps out rookie sheriff Perkins, both strategically but morally, too, when an outlaw gang terrorise the town.

The near-silent ending is as tense as you'll find anywhere within any Western - and you will be both too - silent AND tense...

Radio Times gives Tin Star a rare five stars - and you won't see this undervalued and under-known western on TV very often. It does get onto Sky Movies Classics once in a while but I don't recall it ever being on terrestrial TV, at least recently, so the DVD does make good sense. If you like the western genre and not yet seen The Tin Star, you really should...


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