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Firecreek (1968)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 1968 (UK)
A peace-loving, part-time Sheriff in the small town of Firecreek must take a stand when a gang of vicious outlaws takes over his town.

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(as Calvin Clements)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Johnny Cobb
... Bob Larkin
... 'Evelyn' / Evelyn Pittman
... Earl
... Whittier
... Preacher Broyles
... Mr. Pittman
... Norman
... Drew
... Meli (as Barbara Luna)
... Henrietta Cobb
... Leah
Robert Porter ... Arthur (as J. Robert Porter)
... Willard
... Hall
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Storyline

Farmer and family man Johnny Cobb moonlights as a two dollar a month Sheriff with a homemade badge in the quiet little town of Firecreek. When a gang of freebooters passes through, their leader Larkin, who is suffering from a minor wound, agrees to spend the night. The gang members prove to be vicious, sadistic sociopaths who take advantage of the frightened townspeople, humiliating them for their own perverse amusement. Although Larkin disapproves of their behavior, his leadership role is tenuous, and he is reluctant to test it by exercising control over his men. The mild-mannered Cobb faces a series of challenges from the gang's antisocial behavior. Things come to a head when Meli, an Indian woman with a mixed race child, incurs an attempted sexual attack by one of gang. Arthur, a simpleton stable boy, comes to her aid and accidentally kills the attacker. Cobb locks up Arthur to keep him safe, but when the Sheriff leaves town to visit his wife, who is struggling in labor, there is ... Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JAMES STEWART as the farmer sheriff with a badge carved out of tin. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die fünf Vogelfreien  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first time Henry Fonda played a villain in a theatrical film. He played another western villain in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). See more »

Goofs

When Larkin has his bullet wound treated in the boarding house his shirt is covered in blood. Once he is bandaged, the same shirt is clean and good as new with no sign of a bullet hole. See more »

Quotes

Henrietta Cobb: Oh, Johnny. Why didn't we go on? Why did we settle for less than we wanted?
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Made Me Cry: Our Western Heros (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings and lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
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User Reviews

 
"When You Find No Law, You Make Your Own."
22 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Firecreek is a somber western indeed about a man who is a sheriff and in the end forced to act like one. And an outlaw who's also forced to act like one.

Five outlaws led by Henry Fonda are dodging a posse and go to this out of the way town called Firecreek. Fonda leads a real motley crew of killers in Morgan Woodward, Jack Elam, James Best, and Gary Lockwood. Though Fonda says stay out of trouble and don't start anything, their outlaw natures get the better of them.

James Stewart is the part-time sheriff here. The place is so small it doesn't usually need and can't afford a real professional lawman. It makes the town of Hadleyville in High Noon look like Chicago. Stewart is more of a constable who usually just has to jail those who get inebriated on Saturday night.

Stewart also has other problems like a wife who's about to give birth to their third child. That's the conflict he's undergoing.

Fonda in a performance similar at times to Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter is weary of the life and finds a little romance going with Inger Stevens. But Peck rode alone and Fonda is responsible for the leadership of this gang.

A whole gang of familiar players like Ed Begley, John Qualen, Dean Jagger, and Jay C. Flippen are some of the town citizens. But the most touching portrayal is that of J. Robert Porter who plays the tragic, slightly retarded stable boy. What happens to him sets the stage for the climax.

Other than separate appearances in How the West Was Won, the only joint screen effort for Princeton graduates and lifetime best friends, James Stewart and Henry Fonda was in On Our Merry Way. This second joint venture was not greeted with glowing reviews at the time. But Firecreek has definitely held up well over the years.

Though the climax is completely ripped off from High Noon it is still a well choreographed gun battle just as High Noon was.

The job of sheriff even in a hole in the wall like Firecreek is not one for amateurs.


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