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      The Tin Star

      Released Oct 23, 1957 1h 33m Western List
      89% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 73% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Morgan Hickman (Henry Fonda) is a tough gunslinger with a knack for keeping his cool in tense situations. When he wanders into a town where the local lawman has been killed, he finds callow but eager Ben Owens (Anthony Perkins) temporarily acting as sheriff. Soon Ben, who wants to keep his new position, is looking to Morgan for guidance. Though the bounty hunter has his own issues with law enforcement, he admires Ben's enthusiasm and decides to train him to be an effective sheriff. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      Jake Cole Slant Magazine Less bleak than Anthony Mann’s westerns with James Stewart, including Winchester ’73 and Bend of the River, The Tin Star still wastes little time sketching an unwelcoming vision of the Old West. Apr 12, 2024 Full Review Emilie Black Cinema Crazed The writing here is decent and the direction is very much of its time, keeping the style of Western from the 1950s ... Rated: 4/5 Apr 30, 2024 Full Review Film Culture Staff Film Culture Henry Fonda and Tony Perkins are excellent in this latest chronicle of moral doubt in the once unfaltering West. Jun 7, 2022 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine Fonda's acute performance makes this "adult western" worth seeing. Nov 12, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Perkins in an audition for his Psycho role. Rated: B Nov 9, 2006 Full Review Lori Hoffman Atlantic City Weekly An understated, terrific western Rated: 4/5 Jan 5, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Steve D Poor man's High Noon with strong cast. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 04/09/24 Full Review Rod W Very predictable ..yet a true western Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/27/23 Full Review Matthew B The Tin Star is a movie about a law and order. It is not really a movie about justice, or at least the script by Joel Kane, Dudley Nichols and Barney Slater (a rare example of a screenplay for a low-budget western receiving an Oscar nomination) makes no distinction between justice and law here. The representative of the law always acts justly in this case, and injustice only occurs when people break the law. Hence the film takes its title from the symbol of law and order, the Sheriff's tin star. One man has taken on the role of sheriff against the wishes of his girlfriend, and in the face of little enthusiasm from the townsfolk. Another man has long since handed in his tin star, and will not put it on again at any cost. In the film's ominous opening, Morgan Hickman rides into the small town with an extra horse. Beneath the horse's blanket, a hand can be seen sticking out. The townsfolk are shocked at this evidence that Hickman has killed someone. However Hickman cannot be arrested. He is carrying the body of a man whose Wanted Dead or Alive poster can be found in the sheriff's office, and he has come to collect his reward. What Hickman finds is something that seems unimpressive to the hardened killer. A young man is practising pulling his guns from his holsters and dropping one on the floor. Hickman asks the green young man where he can find the sheriff. The young man pins on a tin star. He is the sheriff. Ben Owens is a temporary sheriff, filling in after his predecessor was killed until a permanent replacement can be found. Given his inexperience and innocence, Hickman suspects that Owens will be temporary because he will not live long enough to enjoy his new role. Owens' sweetheart Millie Parker fears the same, and will not marry him. A curious friendship is struck between these two men, neither of whom is respected by the town. The citizens are unhappy to have a bounty hunter in their midst, and want Hickman to leave quickly when he receives his reward money. Even the hotel owner refuses to put him up. Owens is too young and lacking in confidence to command any power over the citizens. However Hickman stands by Owens in a stand-off with Bogardus – perhaps because he needs the Sheriff's signature for his reward money as he says, or perhaps because he feels sorry for the rookie lawman. After this incident, Owens seeks the help of Hickman, who acts as a mentor to the young novice. It would seem that having a tin star is a thankless task in a remote town where you are the sole agent of law and order. The former sheriff died on duty. The current one may be at risk of dying the same way, or having his responsibilities removed from him by dissatisfied town elders. His only salvation may be another man who turned his back on the duties of being sheriff. "Man pins it on, he can't take it off," Hickman warns Owens. Owens and Hickman then represent two different ideas of what law and order can be – a set of rules carried out within a respectable organisation, or a freer arrangement in which superior skills and greater ruthlessness are the arbiters. On the surface it seems as if Hickman's approach will be the right one, and he makes a number of scathing remarks that suggest that he does not rate Owens' chances of survival. The acid test arrives when a crisis challenges Owens' hopes of maintaining law and order in the town. The local doctor, Joseph McCord is shot and murdered by Ed McGaffey after he treats Ed's brother Zeke for a gunshot wound. Coming soon after a stagecoach hold-up, McCord has surmised that they are the culprits, and Ed murders the doctor to cover up the crime. As a posse develops to capture the McGaffeys, Owens faces the first major challenge to his role as sheriff. Owens would like to bring in the culprits alive so they can have a fair trial, but this is not going to be easy for a number of reasons. There are three ideas of how justice should be administered to the McGaffeys – the lynch mob, the acts of a bounty hunter, and the operation of the official representative of the law in the town. Owens must find a way to curb Hickman's ruthless methods, and face down Bogardus in a way that will disperse the mob. Anthony Mann made some of the finest westerns of the 1950s. While none of Mann's films have the renown of the most famous films in this genre, he did achieve a consistency of quality that perhaps no other western director ever achieved. The Tin Star is no exception to this rule. Mann controls the film perfectly, showing his understanding of pace and rhythm. His action scenes are exciting without being exhausting. Mann is also comfortable with the chamber scenes depicting the private relationships between the characters, and manages to ensure that such scenes never drag or seem dull. Even without James Stewart as his leading actor, Mann showed that he could continue his cycle of excellent westerns. I wrote a longer appreciation of The Tin Star on my blog page if you would like to read more: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2021/10/01/the-tin-star-1957/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/22/23 Full Review Ernie K An intelligent, crisp western that doesn't get too bogged down in romantic side issues more than it takes to bring some warmth and humanity to justice. Henry Fonda gives a believable, nuanced performance where the character shines above the actor. Perkins, Palmer, Brand, Van Cleef, and McIntire provide very able support. A superior western that deserves more replay than it gets. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/12/23 Full Review R Gordon R Jeffrey M. Anderson negative review of this film completely off the mark . Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/03/23 Full Review Kevin B Henry Fonda is so good in this movie. I really enjoyed Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Tin Star

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Morgan Hickman (Henry Fonda) is a tough gunslinger with a knack for keeping his cool in tense situations. When he wanders into a town where the local lawman has been killed, he finds callow but eager Ben Owens (Anthony Perkins) temporarily acting as sheriff. Soon Ben, who wants to keep his new position, is looking to Morgan for guidance. Though the bounty hunter has his own issues with law enforcement, he admires Ben's enthusiasm and decides to train him to be an effective sheriff.
      Director
      Anthony Mann
      Producer
      William Perlberg, George Seaton
      Screenwriter
      Dudley Nichols
      Distributor
      Paramount Pictures
      Production Co
      Perlsea Company
      Genre
      Western
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 23, 1957, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 12, 2010
      Runtime
      1h 33m
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