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Terror in a Texas Town

Screening on Film
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis.
With Sterling Hayden, Sebastian Cabot, Carol Kelly.
US, 1958, 35mm, black & white, 80 min.
Print source: MGM print courtesy of Park Circus

Terror in a Texas Town, in the literal sense, is a throwback to the classical Western of the silent era.  Joseph Lewis, another overlooked director whom auteurist cinephiles have resurrected, master of the B-genre (best known for Gun Crazy), engineers this low-budget feature (the production cost $80,000) in black-and-white, all the while carrying undercurrents of the impact of Hollywood’s blacklisting. Where there is oil there will be blood: the duel at the end of the film converts the commonplace of confrontation in the street into a peerless cinematic event worthy of Herman Melville. 

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