5.8/10
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15 user 5 critic

The Moonlighter (1953)

Approved | | Western | 19 September 1953 (USA)
A cattle herder turned rustler runs from a lynch mob and falls, again, for an ex-lover.

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writer:

Niven Busch (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Rela
Fred MacMurray ... Wes Anderson
Ward Bond ... Cole Gardner
William Ching ... Tom Anderson
John Dierkes ... Sheriff Daws
Morris Ankrum ... Alexander Prince
Jack Elam ... Slim
Charles Halton ... Clemmons Usqubaugh - Undertaker
Norman Leavitt ... Tidy
Sam Flint ... Mr. Mott - Bank President
Myra Marsh Myra Marsh ... Mrs. Anderson
William Kerwin ... Tony
Tom Keene ... Sheriff (as Richard Powers)
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Storyline

In the early 1900s, Wes Anderson is arrested for night-time cattle rustling (moonlighting). He had been gone from his home town for five years, leaving his sweetheart, Rela, to wait for him. Wes' brother, Tom, has chosen a different path in life and works as a teller in a bank in Rio Hondo. Tom is in-love with Rela and he pressures her to marry him in Wes' absence. Languishing in a sheriff's jail, Wes is awaiting trial, which promises to be a fair one, at least according to the town sheriff. But an angry lynch mob of local ranchers agitate in front of the jail, swinging a hanging rope and hankering for Wes' blood. When the sheriff leaves his jail for a lunch-break, the mob breaks into the jail, grabs an imprisoned hobo by mistake and hangs him. The lynch-mob believes to have hung Wes but he is safe, in jail. After he escapes from jail, Wes vows revenge on the members of the lynch mob. During the following days, Wes raids the ranches of those who participated in the lynch mob. He burns... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The beam of the moon - the scream of a woman - the savage meeting of "The Moonlighter" and his Midnight Lady! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le voleur de minuit See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a contemporary article in the Los Angeles Times, Alan Ladd and Kirk Douglas were being considered for the male lead in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Rela leaves the undertaker's office and closes the door behind her, reflected in the left door glass pane is the back of a modern truck, and in the right glass pane is a face of a person wearing a dark hat standing nearby. See more »

Quotes

Rela: You've changed, Wes.
Wes Anderson: Nobody stays the same.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits roll up from behind the scene of mountains, and include "Photographed in Natural Vision 3 Dimension", See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't Moonlight This
14 April 2018 | by Richie-67-485852See all my reviews

Decent Western story that has all the known ingredients we are looking for such as horses, gunplay, drinking, good and bad guys a robbery that nets over 5k dollars (a lot for back then), a love interest, dust, scenery and good old fashioned Sheriffs trying to enforce the law. Add Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwick and Ward Bond plus other familiar faces and you have yourself another story involving the Wild West. Get your snack ready and saddle up here. Also I was surprised to see the words "intermission" come up on the screen. This must have been for selling snacks, drinks and bathroom breaks. BTW, if you don't know what a moonlighter is they explain it pretty good so.....


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