Playhouse 90 (1956–1961)
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A Town Has Turned to Dust 

A weakling sheriff is unable to prevent a lynching. Can he redeem himself by preventing a second one?


John Frankenheimer


Rod Serling




Episode cast overview:
Rod Steiger ... Harvey Denton
William Shatner ... Jerry Paul
Fay Spain ... Annamay Paul
James Gregory ... Hennify
Mario Alcalde Mario Alcalde ... Ramon Rivera
Martin Garralaga ... The Priest
Eugene Iglesias ... Pancho Rivera
Malcolm Atterbury ... Jenkins
Paul Lambert ... Danny
Sandy Kenyon ... Billy
Clegg Hoyt Clegg Hoyt ... Mr. Flagg
Eddie Ryder Eddie Ryder ... Pete Ankers
Helen Kleeb ... Mrs. Flagg
Miriam Colon ... Dolores (as Miriam Colón)


A weakling sheriff is unable to prevent a lynching. Can he redeem himself by preventing a second one?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 June 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Rod Serling's original teleplay was changed drastically by censors to the point that Serling himself was furious with the finished project. He himself said, "They chopped it up like a room full of butchers at work on a steer." See more »


Remade as A Town Has Turned to Dust (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

One more terrific piece of work
20 May 2015 | by searchanddestroy-1See all my reviews

I will always be amazed by this lost series Playhouse 90 episodes, and especially those directed by the likes of John Frankenheimer, for instance, the future great film makers for the big screen. And the least we can say is that Frankenheimer gave us many jewels in this series. Well, speaking of this one, it makes no exception to what I just said. Written by the famous Rod Serling, we have here an outstanding story of a petty sheriff in a small border town, who have in jail a poor Mexican accused of murder and threatened to be lynched by a mob, lead by a surprising William Shatner who, here, reminds me the performance he had several years later in Roger Corman's THE INTRUDER, a movie with not exactly the same story but nearly the same southern town atmosphere. We have here awesome performances from Rod Steiger as the sheriff and Shatner, as I said. Truly Academy Awards level performances, I assure you. OK, it's the classical lynching to be scheme, such as FURY, THE CHASE, SOUND OF FURY, but Worth a look. Trust me.

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