The Tin Star (1957)

92-93 mins | Western | 6 November 1957

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Tin Badge . According to HR news items, Jeffrey Hunter was briefly considered for the role of "Sheriff Ben Owens" because of Anthony Perkins' illness, but the film's starting date was pushed back to allow Perkins to recuperate. A Sep 1956 HR news item noted that the picture originally had been set to be shot in color but was switched to black and white. HR news items add the following actors to the cast, although their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Bernard Shoeffel, Dick Bailey , Eric Alden, Roger Creed, Paul Palmer, Stewart East and Nick Burgani.
       According to a 19 Oct 1956 HR news item, the film was partially shot on location at the Morrison Ranch and Janss Ranch, both in the San Fernando Valley, and near the Prado Dam in Riverside, CA. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story and Screenplay (Written for the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Tin Badge . According to HR news items, Jeffrey Hunter was briefly considered for the role of "Sheriff Ben Owens" because of Anthony Perkins' illness, but the film's starting date was pushed back to allow Perkins to recuperate. A Sep 1956 HR news item noted that the picture originally had been set to be shot in color but was switched to black and white. HR news items add the following actors to the cast, although their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Bernard Shoeffel, Dick Bailey , Eric Alden, Roger Creed, Paul Palmer, Stewart East and Nick Burgani.
       According to a 19 Oct 1956 HR news item, the film was partially shot on location at the Morrison Ranch and Janss Ranch, both in the San Fernando Valley, and near the Prado Dam in Riverside, CA. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story and Screenplay (Written for the Screen). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Oct 1957.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1957
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Oct 1957
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
19 Oct 1957
p. 166.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 1955
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1956
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 1956
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1956
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 1956
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 1956
p. 7, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 1956
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1956
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 1956
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 1956
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1956
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 1956
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1956
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1956
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 1957
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1957
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
9 Dec 1956.
---
Los Angeles Times
7 Nov 1957.
---
Motion Picture Daily
15 Oct 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Oct 1957
p. 569.
New York Times
24 Oct 1957
p. 37.
The Exhibitor
16 Oct 1957
p. 4390.
Time
4 Nov 1957.
---
Variety
16 Oct 1957
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
The Perlberg-Seaton Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
From a story by
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Makeup
Hair style supv
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Casting dir
Research
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Tin Badge
Release Date:
6 November 1957
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 October 1957
Production Date:
22 October--6 December 1956
addl seq began late January 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Perlsea Co. and Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 November 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9397
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Sound Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
92-93
Length(in feet):
8,354
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18468
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Morgan Hickman, a bounty hunter, is treated coldly when he brings the body of a dangerous outlaw into a small western town to claim his reward. Ben Owens, the town's timid temporary sheriff, must verify the outlaw's identity before giving Morg the money, so the bounty hunter heads to the livery barn, where he befriends little Kip Mayfield. Morg accompanies Kip to his home outside of town, and the boy's widowed mother Nona agrees to put him up. That night, Morg sadly reveals to Nona that he lost his own wife and son. Nona then remarks that her deceased husband was an Indian. When Morg looks surprised, Nona angrily tells him that he may leave in the morning. The next day, Ben's sweetheart, Millie Parker, whose father was the sheriff for twenty years, reminds Ben that he promised to turn in his badge as soon as a permanent sheriff is located, but he admits that he hopes to remain in the job. Old Dr. Joe McCord assures her that Ben will be fine, but she is certain that he will be killed, as was her father. Morg returns to town, and soon afterward, Bart Bogardus, the dead outlaw's cousin, repeatedly shoots a "half-breed" in the street, then claims that the killing was in self-defense. Ben nervously demands Bogardus' weapons, but he threatens the sheriff with his gun. Morg shoots the gun out of Bogardus' hand, and later, Ben asks Morg, who has revealed that he was once a sheriff, how to handle troublemakers. Morg replies that a sheriff must always shoot to kill. That night, Morg admits to Nona that, while he ... +


Morgan Hickman, a bounty hunter, is treated coldly when he brings the body of a dangerous outlaw into a small western town to claim his reward. Ben Owens, the town's timid temporary sheriff, must verify the outlaw's identity before giving Morg the money, so the bounty hunter heads to the livery barn, where he befriends little Kip Mayfield. Morg accompanies Kip to his home outside of town, and the boy's widowed mother Nona agrees to put him up. That night, Morg sadly reveals to Nona that he lost his own wife and son. Nona then remarks that her deceased husband was an Indian. When Morg looks surprised, Nona angrily tells him that he may leave in the morning. The next day, Ben's sweetheart, Millie Parker, whose father was the sheriff for twenty years, reminds Ben that he promised to turn in his badge as soon as a permanent sheriff is located, but he admits that he hopes to remain in the job. Old Dr. Joe McCord assures her that Ben will be fine, but she is certain that he will be killed, as was her father. Morg returns to town, and soon afterward, Bart Bogardus, the dead outlaw's cousin, repeatedly shoots a "half-breed" in the street, then claims that the killing was in self-defense. Ben nervously demands Bogardus' weapons, but he threatens the sheriff with his gun. Morg shoots the gun out of Bogardus' hand, and later, Ben asks Morg, who has revealed that he was once a sheriff, how to handle troublemakers. Morg replies that a sheriff must always shoot to kill. That night, Morg admits to Nona that, while he wants to continue his stay in her home, he, like most white people, was reared to hate Indians. Her husband, she replies, was killed for having the courage to stand up for himself as an equal, and since then, she adds bitterly, the townspeople have turned their hatred on her and her son. Ben worriedly tells Morg the next day that the judge has released Bogardus, and Morg agrees to coach him on handling guns and outlaws. When the stagecoach driver is later shot by two gunmen outside of town, Ben organizes a posse, but Morg refuses to participate, claiming that he will never again wear a badge. Having received his reward money, Morg buys Kip a pony and prepares to leave town. That night, Doc McCord delivers a baby, but on his way home, is stopped by Ed McGaffey, whose brother Zeke has been shot in a "hunting accident." At daybreak, the doctor heads for home, but Ed is certain he knows that the two brothers are the killers sought by the posse. Zeke begs Ed to let the doctor go, but Ed grabs his gun and pursues him. The whole town has turned out for "McCord Day," the doctor's seventy-fifth birthday, but the singing and clapping stop as everyone realizes that the beloved doctor has been killed. As was his custom, Doc McCord had described Zeke's injury in his notebook, and when the mayor reads this, he places a dead-or-alive reward on the brothers' heads. An angry mob then charges off to the McGaffey homestead to seek revenge. As the men pass his house, Kip decides to chase them on his pony, and shortly afterward, as Morg prepares to pursue the McGaffey brothers on his own, he and Nona realize that the boy is gone. The McGaffey brothers are absent by the time the posse arrives, but Bogardus, who has assumed control of the mob, orders them to set fire to the house. Soon after they leave, Kip arrives, and when his dog runs into the canyon behind the house, the child follows. Morg and Ben follow the hoof prints, arriving near the McGaffeys' cavern hideout just as Ed begins shooting at the boy. Kip is led to safety, whereupon Ben swears he will take the outlaws in alive. Just as Morg predicts, however, Ed shoots at Ben when he attempts to approach the cave. Morg lights a fire by the cave's entrance, and soon the two brothers are forced to surrender. Bogardus, who wants Ben's job, is furious that Ben and Morg have captured the outlaws, and he orders the mob to lynch the McGaffeys. Ben tries to enlist the help of the town officials, but none of them supports his decision to give the McGaffeys a fair trial, and Ben finds himself facing Bogardus and his lynch mob alone. This time, Ben stands up to Bogardus and is surprised when Morg appears at his side with a star on his chest. When Ben approaches Bogardus and slaps him, Bogardus draws his gun and fires. Ben shoots back, killing Bogardus. Their leader slain, the mob loses its fury. Ben asks Morg to remain in town as a lawman, but Morg assures the sheriff that he can handle the job alone, and Millie decides that she will marry Ben. Morg, Nona and Kip then leave town to begin a new life together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.