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STERLING HAYDEN VS NEDRICK YOUNG 'TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN'

Title: TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN Year: 1958 Rating: ****

If the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo were a more violently-inclined exploitative screenwriter, the harpoon carried around by Swedish whaler turned would-be rancher Sterling Hayden (using a terrible accent made up for by his usual strong presence) would have the opportunity to slay a gaggle of bad guys... 

But it only takes one baddie... or two, actually... the brains and brawn in land baron Sebastian Cabot... with sexy secretary Marilee Earle the same year she'd play another villain's secretary in THE FEARMAKERS... and black-clothes-clad gunman Nedrick Young with his own heart-of-gold lush Carol Kelly... 

Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN

One badman wants all ranchers off the secretly oil-filled land he'd monopolized while the other's hired to kill them, making a rudimentary example of one old Swedish man who, that's right, is the father of our hero who's yet to arrive to discover dad's murder has no culprits... at least none that the frightened town admits to knowing...

What's a kind of Western fable is idealistic without being too preachy and uses sparse flatland cinematography along with an equally sparse Gerald Fried score sounding more modern jazzy-noir than cowboy picture blues... 

Sterling Hayden from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN

Although it's not too noticeably anachronistic being there's a clean-toned guitar (albeit plugged-in instead of acoustic) and one lonesome melancholy trumpet befitting not only the one simple man's revenge-driven story-line but the soft/steady cadence of Hayden's George Hanson...

He's patiently passive at first but who does eventually use that harpoon, and it's one of the all-time great Western HIGH NOON style showdowns... HIGH HARPOON would make a logical alternate title.   

Sterling Hayden and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sterling Hayden from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sterling Hayden from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Carol Kelly from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sterling Hayden and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sterling Hayden and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sterling Hayden from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Sebastian Cabot, Marilee Earle from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Carol Kelly and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Carol Kelly and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
Carol Kelly and Nedrick Young from TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN


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