7.0/10
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33 user 19 critic

Man Without a Star (1955)

Approved | | Western | 1955 (UK)
A drifter working as foreman for an iron-fist female rancher must chose sides between his attractive employer and the other neighboring settlers who are mistreated by her.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Idonee
...
...
Steve Miles
...
Strap Davis
Myrna Hansen ...
Tess Cassidy
...
Moccasin Mary
...
Tom Cassidy (as Eddy C. Waller)
...
Latigo
...
Tom Carter
Frank Chase ...
Little Waco
...
Mark Toliver
...
Sheriff Olson
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Cookie (as Wm. "Bill" Phillips)
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Storyline

Dempsey Rae, a cowboy with no clear aim in life, winds up working on a spread with a hard lady owner just arrived from the East. She needs a tough new top hand and uses all her means of persuasion to get Rae to take the job. But he doesn't like the way the other settlers are getting treated and starts to side with them, despite their introduction of the barbed wire he loathes. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a love-bargain is like barbed-wire...fight it and you'll get hurt! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1955 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hombre sin rumbo  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,200,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films that Kirk Douglas made through his production company. The film went on to become a box office hit. See more »

Goofs

The name of the ranch is the Triangle, but the branding iron is in the shape of a circle. See more »

Quotes

Dempsey Rae: You'll learn. Or you'll be up to your armpits in beef.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Virginian: Duel at Shiloh (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Man Without A Star
Music by Arnold Schwarzwald (as Arnold Hughes)
Lyrics by Frederick Herbert
Vocal by Frankie Laine
See more »

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User Reviews

 
To fence or not to fence, that is the question.
24 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

Man Without A Star is directed by King Vidor and adapted by Borden Chase & D. D. Beauchamp from the Dee Linford novel. It stars Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor, William Campbell & Richard Boone. Photographed by Russell Metty in Technicolor around the Thousand Oaks area in California, with the title song warbled by Frankie Laine.

Dempsey Rae (Douglas) is easy going and a lover of life, so much so he has no qualms about befriending young hot head Jeff Jimson (Campbell). The pair, after a scare with the law, amble into town and find work at a ranch owned by the mysterious Reed Bowman. Who after finally showing up turns out to be a lady (Crain), with very ambitious plans. As sexual tensions start to run high, so do tempers, as the boys find themselves in the middle of a range war.

It's all very conventional stuff in the grand scheme of range war Western things, but none the less it manages to stay well above average in spite of a tricky first quarter. For the fist part Vidor and Douglas seem to be playing the film for laughs, with the actor mugging for all he is worth. Add in the wet behind the ears performance of Campbell and one wonders if this is going to be a spoof. But once the lads land in town and the girls show up (Trevor classy, Crain smouldering), the film shifts in gear and starts to get edgy with Vidor proving to have paced it wisely. The thematics of era and lifestyle changes, here signified by barbed wire, are well written into the plot. While interesting camera angles and biting photography keep the mood sexually skew whiff. Boone lifts proceedings with another fine villain performance, and Jay C. Flippen in support is as solid as he almost always was. 7/10


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