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The Iron Sheriff (1957)

Passed | | Western | April 1957 (USA)
When the sheriff's son is placed on trial for murdering a stagecoach driver, the sheriff desperately searches for the real killer - and finds the trail leads back to his boy.

Director:

Sidney Salkow

Writer:

Seeleg Lester
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt
Constance Ford ... Claire
John Dehner ... Roger Pollack
Kent Taylor ... Phil Quincy
Darryl Hickman ... Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt
Walter Sande ... Marshal Ellison
Frank Ferguson ... District Attorney Holloway
King Donovan ... Leveret
Mort Mills ... Range Detective Sutherland
Peter Miller ... Jackson Gallagher
Kathleen Nolan ... Kathi Walden (as Kathy Nolan)
I. Stanford Jolley ... Eugene 'Gene' Walden
Will Wright ... Judge
Ray Walker ... Bilson
Robert B. Williams ... Sheriff Joe Tilyou (as Bob Williams)
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Storyline

In 1891, in a small town in South Dakota, a stagecoach is robbed and the driver is killed. A small fortune in silver dollars has disappeared. The only suspect is Benjamin 'Benjie' Galt, the son of Sheriff Samuel 'Sam' Galt. The lad claims he's innocent but circumstances and a few witnesses place him at the scene of the murder-robbery. Heart-broken but honest, Sheriff Galt arrests his own son and prepares for the trial by hiring the best lawyer in the country to defend Benjie. The Sheriff also hires a local detective to investigate the scene of the stagecoach robbery and possibly dig up any new evidence or witnesses to help clear Benjie of the crime. However, when a silver dollar from the stage robbery loot turns up in the local saloon, the trail leads straight to Benjie. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From His Leather-Tough Skin To His Cold-Steel Guts He Was All Cast Iron - ...and then he began to crack! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trial of Benjie Galt See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grand Productions (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although shot in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.78:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see it as the director and cinematographer intended. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame would never have been seen by a theater audience. See more »

Goofs

Once everyone figures out that the sheriff's son didn't kill the stage driver, they all agree that he couldn't have known the stage was even coming, yet this defense was never raised once during the trial that convicted him. See more »

Quotes

Judge: Now this is going to be a fair trial... conducted legally. A boy's life hangs in the balance.
Irate Townsman at Trial: That's about the only place he'll hang!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Exiles (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising Culprit
23 August 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Iron Sheriff manages to combine both western and noir elements in its making. It also is a pretty good courtroom drama.

The title role of The Iron Sheriff is played by Sterling Hayden and as you can gather he's one strict enforcer of the law. That includes arresting his son Darryl Hickman who's been identified as the perpetrator of a stage holdup where the driver was killed. Hickman's been identified by a dying I. Stanford Jolley as the perpetrator, but Jolley has it in for Hickman because he's been getting too serious with his daughter Kathleen Nolan. With all the evidence against him, still Sterling Hayden goes on a quest to find the real culprit, especially after some exculpatory evidence is found.

There's a town full of suspects and each has their own agenda for or against the sheriff, something like the divided public opinion in High Noon in Hadleyville as far as sheriff Gary Cooper was concerned. The Iron Sheriff also is a much better telling of the same kind of story that was told in the John Wayne film Cahill, US Marshall. The Duke in his movie was bound by the parameters of his image and Sterling Hayden did not have that problem.

This western has some pretty good courtroom scenes with Judge Will Wright, prosecutor Frank Ferguson, and defense attorney John Dehner who may have turned in the best performance in the film. I have to confess that I was surprised at who the culprit eventually turned out to be.

If it's run again on TCM try to catch it.


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