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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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox
Robert Ryan ... Sabbath Cotton Ryan
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Salmi and Burt Lancaster appeared in The Unforgiven (1960). See more »

Goofs

During the opening scene when Bronson's rowdies tear up the town of Bannock, in two views of the local hotel, the town's name is spelled Bannock. Later, when Sheriff Maddox checks into the hotel in Sabbath, he signs in as a resident of Bannach. See more »

Quotes

Harvey Stenbaugh: Marc was a good man with a gun.
Sabbath Marshal Cotton Ryan: He was a big mouth who thought he was a good man with a gun. There's a cold hole in the ground between the two.
See more »

Alternate Versions

All UK video versions are cut by 4 secs to remove a cruel horse-fall. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sven Uslings Bio: Lawman (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
The other side of the showdown...
4 June 2000 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Michael Winner's "The Lawman" reveals that a sheriff - traditional officer responsible for law and order, symbol of virtue and right - is 'not' always morally excellent and virtuous or that his prey thoroughly bad...

Burt Lancaster is cast as a merciless avenger, unmoved by love or pity, determined to one end: Exterminate the opposition...

The criminals here are, in fact, some law breakers, drunken cowboys - who by bad luck - have killed an old man during a rough enthusiastic drinking bout...

Lancaster - blind to his faults, unwilling to judge or to be less severe, and with no intention to arrest - hunts his prey down, one by one, until the last man...

There is no poetic eloquence here, no tension as the two protagonists walk slowly towards their duel, no feeling that right is victorious, no good has conquered evil, no decisive clash to capture the audience's imagination... This is pure brutality: Gratuitous graphic sequences - sickening and revolting - of destroyed shoulders and collapsed faces... Uncalled details of death that may damage the sonorous knell of the 'classic Western' with its ideal behavior and precise rules traditionally observed...

The Western showdown is strictly ritual, quick, clean and purely emotional... The outcome predictable... The moment of suspense exciting as anything the cinema has ever produced...

The showdown in "The Lawman" is disturbing in the way of vision... It follows on in the tradition of Palance/Elisha Cook Jr. ultimate confrontation in "Shane," and excels Sam Peckinpah's commitment to an ideal of self-expression through violent death... It may well mean that a film like "Shane," "High Noon," "Vera Cruz," or "The Fastest Gun Alive," can never be made again...


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,940,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Scimitar Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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