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Lawless Street, A (Columbia 1955, Randolph Scott, Angela Lansbury)

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In A Lawless Street, a forerunner of the roles that would bring him his greatest critical acclaim (a series of B-movie Westerns for director Budd Boetticher) Randolph Scott stars as an ageing sheriff whose obsession with upholding the law plays havoc with his personal life. Stylishly directed by Joseph H Lewis (best known for the B-movie classics Gun Crazy and The Big Combo), this Technicolor Western is based on the novel Marshal of Medicine Bend by Brad Ward.

Having dedicated his life to keeping crime off the streets of Colorado’s towns, Calem Ware (Scott) is now keen to retire. His marriage to Tally Dickinson (Angela Lansbury) has failed and she’s pursuing a career in show business, having tired of his dangerous job. His desire to hang up his badge as marshal of Medicine Bend is not reciprocated by the townsfolk, however, and they want him to protect them from impending trouble.

This trouble comes in the shape of gunman Harley Baskam (Michael Pate), who’s been hired by the town’s two main thieves, Hamer Thorne (Warner Anderson) and Cody Clark (John Emery), who want to protect their crooked investment from Ware’s honourable intentions. The gunman almost succeeds in killing Ware, who manages to escape and decides to lie low for a while. As the two crooks take over Medicine Bend, the marshal bides his time and plots his revenge.

production details
USA | Columbia | 78 minutes | 1955

Writer: Kenneth Gamet (based on the story Marshal of Medicine Bend by Brad Ward)
Music: Paul Sawtell
Cinematography: Ray Rennahan
Producer: Harry Joe Brown
Director: Joseph H Lewis

cast
Randolph Scott as Marshal Calem Ware
Michael Pate as Harley Baskam
Ruth Donnelly as Molly Higgins
Warner Anderson as Hamer Thorne
Angela Lansbury as Tally Dickenson
Jean Parker as Cora Dean
Wallace Ford as Dr. Amos Wynn
John Emery as Cody Clark
James Bell as Asaph Dean
Don Megowan as Dooley Brion
Jeanette Nolan as Mrs. Dingo Brion

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