Ein Mann wie der Teufel (1955)

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Ein Mann wie der Teufel: Directed by Joseph H. Lewis. With Randolph Scott, Angela Lansbury, Warner Anderson, Jean Parker. Marshal Calem Ware (Randolph Scott) must face unpleasant facts about his past when he attempts to run a criminal gang out of town.

“The story is simplicity itself. Scott is the marshall keeping the town (referred to several times as a wild beast) peaceful despite the efforts of two corrupt businessmen to take it over and run it on their terms. They hire a gunman (Pate) to come in and knock off Scott. At about the same time Scottu0026#39;s showgirl wife (Lansbury) shows up. Theyu0026#39;ve separated because she doesnu0026#39;t want him using guns to earn a living. Or something like that. (Where have we seen this before?) Pate shoots Scott, who recovers later and shoots Pate. The businessmen are subdued by the rest of the townspeople who have come to their senses and acquired ethics. Scott hands over his badge because the beast has been tamed and the town no longer needs his kind of marshall. He rides off into the sunset with his wife and a carriage full of luggage and mulligan stew. The end.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAngela Lansbury is a first-rate actress. She wows the audience in pieces as different as u0026quot;The Manchurian Candidate,u0026quot; u0026quot;Death on the Nile,u0026quot; and u0026quot;Sweeney Toddu0026quot; on Broadway. But sheu0026#39;s given practically nothing to do here. Warner Andersonu0026#39;s acting is flat and matter-of-fact but heu0026#39;s okay. The other villainous businessmen are less than interesting, which is too bad because movies like this depend as much on the character of their heavies as they do on the star. Wally Ford is in the Thomas Mitchell/ Edgar Buchanan part. The movieu0026#39;s score blossoms during the overture to Lansburyu0026#39;s stage appearance. Elsewhere the score is overblown and sounds hastily assembled with comic notes where none are called for. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe second half of the movie deteriorates. I cannot imagine why the rich ranchers and the rest of the townspeople (the wild beasts) have a sudden and entirely unmotivated change of heart and rally to Scottu0026#39;s side. Also, Scott gets to beat hell out of a human being the size of Man Mountain Dean, without using a gun. The two men have a lengthy and brutal fistfight and wind up with their shirts torn to shreds but not a drop of blood is spilled. But the first third of the movie gives Scott some scenes and dialogue that are outstanding for him, considering his usual persona. He shoots a man in self defense and is, if not ashamed of having done it, at least remorseful. The victimu0026#39;s widow has some sensible and believable lines too, and not favorable to Scott. Scott doesnu0026#39;t go on about his sadness — he never goes on about anything. But we can sense the writers and the director giving him a chance to play something more than a heroic marble statue. It would have been nice had the rest of the movie been so played.”


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