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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: titoli on May 23, 2009, 02:31:26 PM

Title: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: titoli on May 23, 2009, 02:31:26 PM
This has a very good rhythm without the usual dilutions (runtime it's under 80') and has two very good scenes toward the end, having to do with sound and the way Scott disposes of the faster than him gunslinger. But the downer is Angela Lansbury: how can one possibly believe that she was some kind of sex prize is beyond me. Really, many '50's Hollywood movies are disconcerting about their choice of ugly or under par female leads. 7\10
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 27, 2009, 02:42:12 PM
I pretty much agree, although I wouldn't necessarily kick a young Lansbury out of bed, but there could have been better choices for the role. With that said, the movie would have been better had the character been eliminated.

There is also an example of shooter/gun and victim within a single frame, further proof that this occurred before Leone but not too common I suppose.
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: titoli on May 27, 2009, 04:02:53 PM
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2009, 04:22:57 PM
Looks good to me.
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 27, 2009, 09:20:58 PM
you really picked a flattering picture.
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: titoli on May 28, 2009, 05:47:33 AM
That is the best she could ever aspire to look. which is not in the western we're debating, made probably some years after.
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 28, 2009, 04:57:51 PM
I thought she looked attractive, not gorgeous, but certainly passable.
Title: Re: A Lawless Street (1955)
Post by: Spikeopath on February 08, 2017, 06:18:48 PM
Funny how a man softens to another when once he's killed him.

Marshal Calem Ware (Randolph Scott) is tired of Medicine Bend, tired of killing and tired of reprobates trying to kill him. He's also haunted by pain in his past. So when the past resurfaces and yet another scum-bag turns up to put out his light, Calem faces what he hopes will be the final day of reckoning.

Brought to us by the Scott/Brown production company, A Lawless Street is directed by Joseph H. Lewis, adapted from a Brad Ward story (Marshal of Medicine Bend) by Kenneth Gamet and features cinematography from Ray Rennahan at French Ranch - Hidden Valley Road, Thousand Oaks in California. Joining Scott in the cast are Angela Lansbury, Warner Anderson, Jean Parker & Wallace Ford.

This film came a year before Scott would do Seven Men From Now with Budd Boetticher, the start of which was a run of "adult" Westerns that showcased the best of both Scott and the Western of the 50s. So it's not unsurprising to find that "A Lawless Street" is some way short of the quality of the Boetticher/Scott movies. In fact, Scott may not just be in character for the film, he looks genuinely tired, which is in keeping with the very tired feel of it all.

It has proved to be a pretty divisive film amongst Western purists, the routine story not helped by the fact it has been done to perfection before in other, more notable genre pieces. While the script also lacks vim and vigour and Scott is surrounded by very average actors. The ending fizzles out after the promise of so much more, and in fact it's ponderously drawn out. Yet the first half of the film saves it from being a stinker, Lewis' camera-work is fluid and fist fight fans are served up a treat. And we even get Lansbury flexing her tonsils for a delightful little ditty.

So it's very much a film of two differing halves, one that sadly doesn't make for a satisfying whole. Much like Switzerland, I'm staying neutral with it, a 5/10 rating is given on proviso that it's noted that where Scott and Lewis are concerned, I'm unashamedly biased.