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Lawman (1971)

A lawman from Bannock arrives in Sabbath to arrest all the cattlemen whose wild celebration the year before resulted in the accidental death of an old man.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writer:

Gerald Wilson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox
Robert Ryan ... Sabbath Marshal Cotton Ryan Cotten
Lee J. Cobb ... Vincent Bronson
Robert Duvall ... Vernon Adams
Sheree North ... Laura Shelby
Albert Salmi ... Harvey Stenbaugh
Richard Jordan ... Crowe Wheelwright
John McGiver ... Sabbath Mayor Sam Bolden
Ralph Waite ... Jack Dekker
John Beck ... Jason Bronson
William Watson ... Choctaw Lee (as William C. Watson)
Walter Brooke ... Luther Harris
Robert Emhardt ... Hersham
Charles Tyner ... Minister
J.D. Cannon ... Hurd Price
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Storyline

While passing through the town of Bannock, a bunch of drunken, trail-weary cattlemen go overboard with their celebrating and accidentally kill an old man with a stray shot. They return home to Sabbath unaware of his death. Bannock lawman Jered Maddox later arrives there to arrest everyone involved on a charge of murder. Sabbath is run by land baron Vince Bronson, a benevolent despot, who, upon hearing of the death, offers restitution for the incident. Maddox, however, will not compromise even though small ranchers like Vern Adams are not in a position to desert their responsibilities for a long and protracted trial. Sabbath's marshal, Cotton Ryan, is an aging lawman whose tough reputation rests on a single incident that occurred years before. Ryan admits to being only a shadow of what he once was and incapable of stopping Maddox. Maddox confides to Ryan that Bannock's judicial system is weak and corrupt, and while he's doubtful that anyone he brings back will suffer more than the ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gave the West justice right up to its neck... then rammed more down its throat.

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Law Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scimitar Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Burt Lancaster was 58 when he appeared in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Vernon Adams (Robert Duvall) first aims down on Maddox (Burt Lancaster) with his rifle from above, Maddox is riding away from him up a long draw. Immediately afterward, Maddox is still traveling up the draw and looks up and sees Vernon in front of him and above him aiming down at him. The positions switched 180 degrees. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Bronson, Town Boss: It took guns to get the land, guns to keep it, guns to make things grow. The guns that pride called out... and each time we buried the cost.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In addition to omitting a horse fall, the UK version has the Sheree North nude scene. This is replaced in the US version with a covered take. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death Wish (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A True Classic
7 May 2003 | by teuthisSee all my reviews

This is perhaps the best of those enigmatic Michael Winner productions that focus the plot on the emotions and personalities of the protagonists of the film. I love Michael Winner productions. They are never shot in a studio; and his realism is virtually unapproachable by any other director of the time.

Lawman is a story of pride,arrogance and people fixed into paths of life which they cannot change. Burt Lancaster is sterling representing "The Law"; a force that cannot be swayed. He desires, or thinks he desires, to be something else, but he is indeed the law, and cannot escape his fate. The characters of the town, the men he comes to arrest for a killing, all follow their own ordained paths. Because not one of them can, or will, bend or accept the events that are occurring, they all converge on the final climax that is one of the greatest statements of human futility that I have ever seen in a film. The climax of this story is fantastic, and almost totally unexpected. No one should spoil it for you, even a little.

There are a number of truly great character actors in this film, and each gives a flawless performance. In True Michael Winner form, the action is stunning and the violence is portrayed with all the realism that shows how awful and devastating it can be. This is a gritty, but deep story that holds one in its grasp without pause. I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, Lawman is a rare film; almost never broadcast. If you are fortunate enough to find a copy for rent,or purchase, do so with all haste. It's a Winner!


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