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Terror in a Texas Town (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 25 August 1958 (USA)
A Swedish whaler is out for revenge when he finds out that a greedy oil man murdered his father for their land.


Joseph H. Lewis


Dalton Trumbo, Ben Perry (front for Dalton Trumbo) (as Ben L. Perry)


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Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... George Hansen
Sebastian Cabot ... McNeil
Carol Kelly Carol Kelly ... Molly
Eugene Mazzola ... Pepe (as Eugene Martin)
Nedrick Young ... Crale (as Ned Young)
Victor Millan Victor Millan ... Mirada
Frank Ferguson ... Deacon Matt Holmes
Marilee Earle ... Mona Stacey


Sven Hanson is one of a number of farmers whom Ed McNeil wants to run off their land (because he knows there's oil on it). When Hanson is murdered by McNeil's gunman, Johnny Crale, Hanson's friend Pepe Mirada hides his knowledge of the murderer's identity in order to protect his family. When Hanson's son George arrives and takes up his father's cause, not only Mirada but also Johnny Crale begin to reevaluate their attitudes. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HARPOON AGAINST SIX-GUN!..For The Black Gold That Flowed Under The Blood-Drenched Land! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 August 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard as Nails See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$80,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Seltzer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely accidental and unintentional. See more »


Mirada lives next to the railway line that runs from Austin to Prairie City, but when Hansen leave's Mirada's house with the harpoon to walk to Prairie City he crosses the line and walks away from it at ninety degrees. See more »


Brady: I don't think you've the guts right now to admit that this fellow McNeil had me burned down.
Deacon Matt Holmes: Oh, take it easy Brady.
Brady: Take it easy, Matt, what are you talking about take it easy? Didn't we agree to stick together? Well I stuck. Whose house got burned down? Mine! Whose barn went up in smoke? Mine! Whose livestock burned up? Mine!
See more »


Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Hiring It Done
30 January 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In El Dorado John Wayne has occasion to remark to Ed Asner that since he doesn't carry a gun himself he hires it done. And then the Duke went on to make some remarks about the quality of his help.

But the reverse of the coin is when who you hire is too good for you to argue with. That was the problem that Sebastian Cabot has with Ned Young, a brooding killer who he hires to intimidate some farmers to get off land that unbeknownst to them has oil. It was at the end of the frontier days and the great oil discoveries that were to make Texas and oil synonymous were just being discovered.

One guy who won't be pushed is a Swedish farmer who Young kills. His son played by Sterling Hayden comes to town asking questions. Like Hayden in real life, the son is a seaman who's strange in that western environment. He carries no gun, but only a harpoon from his seafaring days.

By this time Hayden was ready to leave Hollywood for Tahiti and was just trying to earn enough money to sail there with his kids. He'd been a friendly witness at the House Un American Activities Committee It must have been a bit strained on the set because the screenplay was by Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten. Trumbo was still writing under pseudonyms though.

Hayden walks through his role, the real acting here is done by Ned Young and Sebastian Cabot. Both of them are a pair of hateful people, Cabot the greedy capitalist and Young the stone killer.

Western fans won't be disappointed however, especially at the final confrontation at the end.

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