What's new

A Few Words About A few words about...™ Terror in a Texas Town -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
18,396
Real Name
Robert Harris
Welcome to America!

Before the turn of the 20th century.

A place, especially in the west, where immigrants were welcomed and loved.

A place in Texas, where Sven Hansen, a Swede, who had spent his life at sea, saving to purchase a small piece of land that he could one day turn over to his strapping son, George...

and where Mirada, whose family had crossed the border from Mexico generations before, is trying to survive with his wife and young son.

McNeil owns the local hotel, and wants their land.

This has been done before, but Joseph H. Lewis does it differently, with nary a duel of peacemakers in sight, and not a drop of blood, amongst several deaths.

Mr. Lewis is a major filmmaker to some, and barely a blip on the cinematic radar to others.

But during his career (beginning in editorial, and later as a B movie director of mostly westerns) he made three films that over half a century later, are worth your time effort to see.

My personal favorite is Gun Crazy, aka Deadly is the Female. There's The Big Combo, and then his final feature production, although he continued to work in TV, Terror in a Texas Town.

It's extremely low budget.

An almost always empty western street, a few interior sets -- a couple of hotel rooms, the main floor of the hotel and bar, and Mirada's small cabin.

But look to the credits, and things get interesting.

A screenplay by Dalton Trumbo

Cinematography by Ray Rennahan, in his final outing behind the camera, before he too, worked in TV.

Never heard of him? Look him up. He was one of the best.

And then, there's Sterling Hayden in the lead. A superb and idiosyncratic actor, who waffles around a Swedish accent.

And Sebastian Cabot, the portly British actor, making the move from UK productions to US in the early '50s. Probably best known for TV, but later a part of the Disney voice family.

All of this adds up to a tiny film, that probably due to the final duel in the middle of a dusty street -- shades of High Noon -- has found it's place in the world of cinema history.

Probably most important here, is that Arrow's new Blu-ray is a gorgeous affair, nicely reproducing Mr. Rennahan's work, with all of it's grain and levels of gray intact. It's a clean, stable image, which I doubt can be bettered.

Audio reproduces the low-budget qualities of the production.

Image - 4.75

Audio - 4.5

4k Up-rez - 4.75

Pass / Fail - Pass

Recommended

RAH
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
67,799
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Don't forget Nedrick Young as Johnny Crale. Who won an AA for screenwriting for The Defiant Ones the same year this film came out. He also has screen play credits for Inherit the Wind and Jailhouse Rock. Young was blacklisted like Trumbo so it did impede his career. Matter of fact, Hayden too was caught up in the Red Scare too.

I love how Lewis shot some of those scenes. Last week I watched Gun Crazy again on Noir Alley with Eddie Muller on TCM. Anyhow, this is an excellent Blu-ray.
 
Last edited:

cadavra

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
783
Real Name
mike schlesinger
I think most people would add MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS to the list of Lewis' best-known films.

Mike S.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,009
Messages
5,128,254
Members
144,228
Latest member
CoolMovies
Recent bookmarks
0
Top