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Terror in a Texas Town
Hard as Nails / Sturm über Texas

USA 1958
produced by
Frank N. Seltzer for Seltzer Films
directed by Joseph H. Lewis
starring Sterling Hayden, Sebastian Cabot, Carol Kelly, Eugene Mazzola, Nedrick Young, Victor Millan, Frank Ferguson, Marilee Earle, Ted Stanhope, Tyler McVey, Byron Foulger, Fred Kohler jr, Gil Lamb, Steve Mitchell, Hank Patterson, James H. Russell, Ann Varela, Sheb Wooley, Glenn Strange
screenplay by Ben Perry, fronting for Dalton Trumbo, music by Gerald Fried

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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The Old but not too Old West: Swede George Hansen (Serling Hayden) enters a small Texas town to visit his father (Ted Stanhope) he hasn't seen in decades ... and finds out he has been killed. Unbeknownst to him, the very man who tells him, Crale (Nedrick Young), is the very man who has shot his dad dead, a gun for hire, who gets a bit too old for his job and out of touch with the "modern days" where the gun is no longer the only law of the land. And since he has lost his right hand, he also shows nerves. His girlfriend Molly (Carol Kelly) urges him to skip town, but with Hansen on the scene, he thinks he might get a few Dollars more out of his employer McNeil (Sebastian Cabot). McNeil is a rich businessman of the "honest citizen" variety, who tries to get his hands on all the local farmers' land in a "lawful" way - meaning he's first trying to buy it from them under value, and if that doesn't work buying sheriffs, judges and whatever to drive them off. And since even that didn't work anymore, he had Hansen's dad killed as a deterrent. And why is that? Because oil has been found on the land, but nobody knows about it yet ...

Now that Hansen's here, he first thinks he's a minor distraction, and wants Crale just to force him onto the next train out of town ... but Hansen's stubborn, and while he seems to be a bit of a meathead who can easily be duped, he actually gets the whole story pretty quickly and understands the connections - and tries to get the locals to stand up against McNeil and confederates with him. But he knows, ultimately it will be only him with his whale harpoon to set a few wrongs right ...

 

Now of course, watching Terror in a Texas Town, it's hard not to catch at least the occasional resemblance to the more popular High Noon from 6 years prior - but that's not to say beyond that Terror in a Texas Town can't stand on his own feet, as quite the contrary is true: It's a film noir-ish take on the western genre that really concentrates on characters and situations much more than on western mainstays, and even though the story features nothing that hasn't been told in a western before, it does so extremely well and in a unique way that does away with many western clichés (heck, the hero doesn't even have a gun or ride a horse) and brings a depth to story as well as characters (including the on first look stereotypical baddies) not usually found in the genre. And director Josep H. Lewis finds just the right pictures to give the film's narrative the necessary feel.

Totally recommended, and not only for fans of the western genre!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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