A Lawless Street (1955)


A Lawless Street (1955)A routine mid 1950’s western for Randolph Scott who in his final hours as town Marshal Calem Ware (Scott) has to stop one more group of men from turning the town back in time to a state of lawlessness. It’s not an easy task for a man who is ending his time as Marshall, wanting to hang up his gun and ride off into the sunset in A Lawless Street (1955) where his past comes back to find him in a different point in his life. In the form of showgirl and estranged wife Tally Dickenson (Angela Lansbury) who herself didn’t expect to find him in town.

When men start to arrive trying their luck to gun down Ware and fail we start to learn whose behind all these attempts on his life are the men who want to re-open the gold mines and have fortunes beyond their wildest dreams. We are never really told why they were closed down. They could have fuelled the crime in Medicine Bend, or the Gold just rand out, all that is left to our imagination.

When one gunfighter Harley Baskam (Michael Pate) arrives to try his luck on the marshal he wants more than his partners are willing to give. They soon give in and the fun really begins as Baskam takes out the marshal in what seems to be an easy shoot-out. Leading to a few days of lawlessness, they buying out of bars in the town, extreme gambling, its a town gone mad.

Little do they know that Baskam’s lucky shot on the marshal wasn’t so lucky, only scratching him. Taken off by his friend Dr. Amos Wynn (Wallace Ford) who nurses him back to health. Whilst over at the theatre estranged wife who had just been reunited with Ware is wanting to leave him once more. Not wanting to share the life of a law-man and the danger that follows him. Soon having a change of heart wanting to be with him once more when she hears of his survival.

A standard mid 1950’s western that has real potential to be so much better, but plays it safe most of the time. The casting of Lansbury in a western is all wrong, even with a pretty face that seems older than her years just doesn’t work for me. Scott as always gives his best throughout in this film, which is yet another film that is part of his decline before being rescued by Sam Peckinpah to end his career on high.

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