6.6/10
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12 user 8 critic

Red Sundown (1956)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | March 1956 (USA)
A gunfighter takes a deputy sheriff job in a town caught in a feud between a powerful rancher and small farmers.

Director:

Jack Arnold

Writers:

Martin Berkeley (screenplay), Lewis B. Patten (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rory Calhoun ... Alec Longmire
Martha Hyer ... Caroline Murphy
Dean Jagger ... Sheriff Jade Murphy
Robert Middleton ... Rufus Henshaw
Grant Williams ... Chet Swann
Lita Baron ... Maria
James Millican ... Bud Purvis
Trevor Bardette ... Sam Baldwin
Leo Gordon ... Rod Zellman
David Kasday David Kasday ... Hughie Clore
Terry Gilkyson Terry Gilkyson ... Title Song Vocalist (voice)
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Storyline

When his life is saved in a shootout by a fellow gunman whose life he in turn had saved, Alex Longmire promises to give up his way of life. Riding into town he finds the only job available is deputy to sheriff Jade Murphy, an honest man caught between small farmers and a local cattle baron. And he has a pretty daughter. So Longmire decides to stay and see if he can use his expertise with firearms for good. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Out of Texas he rode INTO THE FURY OF DURANGO'S WILDEST HOUR! (original print ad - mostly caps)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Back Trail See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Crossfire Trail (2001) (TV), Tom Selleck wears a similar style gun-holster like the one wore by Rory Calhoun in Red Sundown (1956). See more »

Connections

Features Dawn at Socorro (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Red Sundown
Written and Performed by Terry Gilkyson
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User Reviews

 
The Meta-Western
5 May 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Rory Calhoun has had enough of being a gun man, so he goes into town, looking for a job punching cattle. Sheriff Dean Jagger wants him as a deputy. Jagger's daughter, Martha Hyer, thinks he'll be like all the others, addicted to the high-paying, thrills, and on his way soon. Robert Middleton thinks he's for sale. Sociopathic gun man Grant Williams is gigglingly upset at his lack of professional courtesy.

It's directed by Jack Arnold. He's best remembered for his 1950s scifi movies, monster fare with a tangy soupcon of subtext. It's here in this western programmer, pitched midway between the moribund B Western and the overblown A Western. There's a formality in the composition of the story, with its prologue in which Calhoun is saved by the wily smarts of longtime gunman James Millican. Millican plays his role with a dolorous mien, wishing he had a chance to do it all again, and take a real job. The actor had already received his own death sentence. This would be his last role, and he would be dead of cancer by the time it premiered. Perhaps that informs his performance.

More than that, there's a rigidity to the film's structure: here's a Western, it seems to say. We've been making them for more than half a century, and they all proceed this way: the good bad man, the bad bad man, the rich man trying to make a fortune by pitting one against the other, the sheriff, the pretty girl. How will it turn out? In many ways, it comments on the western itself. Where is it going? Television? Spaghetti westerns? What will become of Calhoun, the sheriff, the whole panoply? It won't mean what it meant to the audience that saw it in the theaters in 1956.


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