Man Without a Star (1955)

Approved   |    |  Western


Man Without a Star (1955) Poster

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.


6.9/10
2,903

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17 September 2000 | Nazi_Fighter_David
9
| A mighty satisfactory entertaining Western...
Kirk Douglas is perfectly cast as Dempsey Rae, the happy wanderer cowboy, expert in guns and horses... Rae rides the open range of the Old West with an eye for the ladies and a fancy way with six-shooters...

The theme of the film is the gradual disappearance of freedom as the Wild West settles down to business and puts up barbed wire to mark the lines of investment... Dempsey Rae is a happy wanderer, content to move further and further west to escape the fences... He meets up with a naive farm-boy "Texas" (William Campbell) who yearns to be a man of action and almost as inept... In Dempsey "Texas" finds the right tutor...

The two team up and get themselves a job working for a beautiful ranch owner, Reed Bowman (Jeanne Crain), who turns out to be as unscrupulous as she is attractive... Reed is a 'cattle queen' who rides down the fences of her neighbors carrying the action to its absolute limit in order to prosper and make money...

Dempsey is happy to work for the lady for $30 a month and even happier to make love to her but he draws the line at laying his life for her in range wars... He quits the crooked beauty and drifts into the nearby town, to renew his acquaintance with Idonee (Claire Trevor), a madam with the proverbial heart of gold...

The likable Dempsey is rocked out of his contentment by his successor at the Bowment Ranch, a brute named Steve Miles (Richard Boone) who feels he has to defeat every man in sight, especially when motivated by his glamorous boss...

"Man Without a Star" is a mighty satisfactory entertaining Western, once its premise is established... William Campbell helps Douglas make it so... The two performances are sympathetic, with Campbell looking to Douglas for leadership...

Douglas comes out as a likable star when he announces his presence by throwing his 'good looking' saddle on a window; he is graceful when he combs his hair with water from a goldfish bowl; and he is charming when he plays the banjo and sings a gaily ballad called: "And the Moon Grew Brighter and Brighter."

Jack Elam is cast as the leering, treacherous gunslinger trying to knife Douglas...

Director King Vidor had long established his ability with action sequences and pictorial scope in films like "Northwest Passage," and "Duel in the Sun," and "Man Without a Star" has a full measure of Vidor directed bar room fights, stampedes and chases...

With a lot of color, humor and action Vidor's motion picture is a traditional cattle range movie distinguished by its sheer energy and forceful visual style... The film traces some sex interest between Douglas and Crain, centering on a bathtub 'inside' the house...

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,200,000

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