1955/ 2.00:1 / 89 min.
Starring Kirk Douglas, William Campbell, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor
Cinematography by Russell Metty
Directed by King Vidor
King Vidor, the director behind the bucolic Kansas sequences in The Wizard of Oz and the histrionics of Duel in the Sun, has it both ways in 1955’s Man Without a Star starring Kirk Douglas.
Douglas follows his director’s lead – acting primarily with his teeth, the eager to please ham gives a performance almost as broad as his wayward sailor in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But as screenwriter Borden Chase slowly pulls back the masks on his characters, Douglas settles into a more reasonable approximation of a human being.
Closing in on 40, the irrepressible show-off plays a wandering cowpoke named Dempsey Rae who follows constellations for clues to his destiny and so far he’s come up empty – the “man without a star.