The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1959)

100 or 102-103 mins | Comedy, Western | January 1959

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Producer:

Daniel M. Angel

Cinematographer:

Otto Heller

Editor:

John Shirley

Production Designer:

Bernard Robinson

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Connie Francis sang "In the Valley of Love" over the opening credits, but does not appear in the film. Although Arthur Dales was given credit for the screenplay when the picture was initially released, the film was actually written by blacklisted screenwriter Howard Dimsdale, whose credit was officially restored by the WGA in the late 1990s. Although a Mar 1958 HR production chart states that Bob Goldstein was to produce this picture, the extent of his participation in the released film has not been determined.
       The film's opening scenes, which take place in England, were shot at Pinewood Studios, but most of the film was shot in various locations in Spain's Andalusia province. A HR news item, dated 2 Apr 1958, stated that Twentieth Century-Fox was shooting the film in Spain in order to "defreeze some... frozen funds" tied up in Europe. The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw opened in London in late Oct 1958, approximately two months prior to its U.S. release. ... More Less

Connie Francis sang "In the Valley of Love" over the opening credits, but does not appear in the film. Although Arthur Dales was given credit for the screenplay when the picture was initially released, the film was actually written by blacklisted screenwriter Howard Dimsdale, whose credit was officially restored by the WGA in the late 1990s. Although a Mar 1958 HR production chart states that Bob Goldstein was to produce this picture, the extent of his participation in the released film has not been determined.
       The film's opening scenes, which take place in England, were shot at Pinewood Studios, but most of the film was shot in various locations in Spain's Andalusia province. A HR news item, dated 2 Apr 1958, stated that Twentieth Century-Fox was shooting the film in Spain in order to "defreeze some... frozen funds" tied up in Europe. The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw opened in London in late Oct 1958, approximately two months prior to its U.S. release. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 Dec 1958.
---
Daily Variety
3 Nov 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Nov 58
p. 8.
Harrison's Reports
22 Nov 58
p. 187.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 58
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1958.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 59
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
18 Nov 58.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Nov 58
p. 61.
New York Times
14 Mar 59
p. 27.
The Exhibitor
26 Nov 58
p. 4535.
Variety
5 Nov 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
2d unit cam
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp
Played by
DANCE
Choreographer
MAKEUP
Hairdressing
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Loc mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" by Jacob Hay in MacLean's Magazine (Apr 1954).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Strollin' Down the Lane with Bill" and "If the San Francisco Hills Could Only Talk," music and lyrics by Harry Harris
"In the Valley of Love," music and lyrics by Harry Harris, sung by Connie Francis.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
January 1959
Premiere Information:
London opening: 28 October 1958
Production Date:
began 26 April 1958
interiors shot at Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, England
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 December 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12858
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
100 or 102-103
Length(in feet):
9,254
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19147
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At his manor house in the English countryside, the wealthy Lucius Tibbs consults his solicitor, Mr. Toynbee, as to the whereabouts of his ne'er-do-well nephew Jonathan. Jonathan is soon located in the coach house working on his latest invention, a horseless carriage. When Jonathan's invention fails miserably, he decides to enter the family firm, the venerable Tibbs and Company, purveyors of guns and hunting rifles since 1605. Jonathan quickly realizes that the company, stuck in archaic ways of doing business, is turning only a small profit, so he sets off for America to sell Tibbs firearms in the "Wild West." While traveling by stagecoach, the bemused Tibbs finds himself in the company of a drunk and a hair tonic salesman. The stagecoach is attacked by Indians, but Tibbs, blissfully unaware of the danger and excited about the prospect of meeting a real Indian, jumps off the stage and walks up to a brave about to launch a tomahawk. Tibbs rescues the stage by restraining the Indian with his walking stick, then forces the confused warrior to shake his hand as a gentlemanly gesture of peace. The stagecoach enters the town of Fractured Jaw where the locals praise Tibbs for his bravery. Soon, however, the town's bad element, mercenaries involved in a feud over water rights between the Box N and Lazy S ranches, challenge Tibbs to a gunfight, but quickly disperse when he draws his gun with lightning speed. Tibbs checks into the local hotel and meets its proprietess, a buxom blonde named Miss Kate, who warns him that Fractured Jaw is a lawless town which has been without a ... +


At his manor house in the English countryside, the wealthy Lucius Tibbs consults his solicitor, Mr. Toynbee, as to the whereabouts of his ne'er-do-well nephew Jonathan. Jonathan is soon located in the coach house working on his latest invention, a horseless carriage. When Jonathan's invention fails miserably, he decides to enter the family firm, the venerable Tibbs and Company, purveyors of guns and hunting rifles since 1605. Jonathan quickly realizes that the company, stuck in archaic ways of doing business, is turning only a small profit, so he sets off for America to sell Tibbs firearms in the "Wild West." While traveling by stagecoach, the bemused Tibbs finds himself in the company of a drunk and a hair tonic salesman. The stagecoach is attacked by Indians, but Tibbs, blissfully unaware of the danger and excited about the prospect of meeting a real Indian, jumps off the stage and walks up to a brave about to launch a tomahawk. Tibbs rescues the stage by restraining the Indian with his walking stick, then forces the confused warrior to shake his hand as a gentlemanly gesture of peace. The stagecoach enters the town of Fractured Jaw where the locals praise Tibbs for his bravery. Soon, however, the town's bad element, mercenaries involved in a feud over water rights between the Box N and Lazy S ranches, challenge Tibbs to a gunfight, but quickly disperse when he draws his gun with lightning speed. Tibbs checks into the local hotel and meets its proprietess, a buxom blonde named Miss Kate, who warns him that Fractured Jaw is a lawless town which has been without a sheriff for six months. Late that night, Tibbs is awakened by noise emanating from the hotel's rowdy barroom, where Kate sings and dances. When he goes downstairs to complain, Kate and the patrons make fun of his sense of decorum, and Tibbs is lured into a drinking contest by the malevolent Keeno, a Box N mercenary who mistakenly believes that Tibbs is working undercover for the Lazy S. A brawl ensues in which Keeno is shot dead, but the barroom quickly returns to normal after Kate casually orders the body removed and drinks for everyone. Seeing Tibbs's shock at the bar patrons' cavalier response, the mayor, Doc Masters, explains that the townspeople's cynicism is the result of their inability to retain a sheriff. Before he knows it, an inebriated Tibbs has been tricked into accepting the position. The next morning, Tibbs attempts to relinquish the badge, but the mayor refuses to accept it, especially after Tibbs skillfully disarms Bud Wilkins, one of the Lazy S henchmen, with his quick draw. Impressed, Kate flirts with Tibbs, but soon learns that Tibbs's lightning draw is the result of a special spring device he keeps up his sleeve. Kate, who finds Tibbs's Old World manners charming, advises him to keep his inability to shoot a secret and offers to give him lessons. During target practice, Kate and Tibbs declare their attraction to each other and Tibbs proposes marriage. Kate accepts on the condition that Tibbs give up his sheriff's badge, but Tibbs refuses because he now feels an obligation to clean up Fractured Jaw. The town undertaker begins shadowing Tibbs, certain that he will soon be adding him to the collection of sheriffs in Boot Hill Cemetery. Later, while attempting to sell guns to a local farmer, Tibbs succeeds in stopping a gun battle between representatives of the feuding ranchers, both of whom swear revenge on the new sheriff. Riding back to town, Tibbs is kidnapped by Indians and strung up for target practice, but Running Deer, the Indian whom Tibbs met on the way into Fractured Jaw, praises Tibbs's bravery and the tribe ends up making him an honorary member. Given the choice between becoming a "dead Englishman or a live Indian," Tibbs drinks the blood of a wild buffalo and smokes the peace pipe, but stops short of accepting the chief's offer of an Indian bride. Meanwhile, in town, the war between the ranchers escalates, but both sides decide to stop fighting temporarily while they concentrate on getting rid of the annoying Sheriff Tibbs. After Tibbs attempts to reason with the men and they respond by taking a potshot, Tibbs calls on the Indians for assistance. The Indians succeed in routing the ranchers, who are then taken to jail, after which the undertaker finally leaves, realizing that Tibbs is there to stay. Tibbs appoints Running Deer to the position of deputy and then begins the task of civilizing his Indian blood brother, first by teaching him how to make a proper cup of English tea. Having finally won the respect of the feuding ranchers, Tibbs elicits a promise that they will peacefully share the local watering hole with one another and with the Indians. As bells chime, an exuberant Sheriff Tibbs changes into formal wear and heads over to the chapel to wed Miss Kate, who is given away by Tibbs's adoptive father, Chief Red Wolf. +

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

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