Man Without a Star

Man Without a Star is a 1955 American Technicolor Western film directed by King Vidor starring Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor and William Campbell. It was based on the novel of the same name, published in 1952, by Dee Linford. A remake was made for television in 1968 entitled A Man Called Gannon.

Man Without a Star
Film poster by Reynold Brown
Directed byKing Vidor
Produced byAaron Rosenberg
Written byDee Linford (novel)
Screenplay byBorden Chase
D.D. Beauchamp
(as D. D. Beauchamp)
StarringKirk Douglas
Jeanne Crain
Claire Trevor
William Campbell
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byVirgil W. Vogel
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 24, 1955 (1955-03-24) (New York City)
  • April 27, 1955 (1955-04-27) (Los Angeles)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.2 million (US)[1]


Easygoing cowboy Dempsey Rae (Kirk Douglas) and his boastful but impressionable young friend Jeff Jimson (William Campbell), both from Kansas City, "ride the rails" into a Wyoming cattle town. They witness the murder of the train guard en route and net a $100 reward when they reach the next town. Dempsey has a female acquaintance in town (Idonee) and both decide to stay, after being hired to work (as alleged fellow-Texans) by Strap Davis, on a 10,000 head ranch for an absentee rancher named Reed Bowman. When Bowman finally arrives, Dempsey is surprised to find that he has been working for a very attractive woman (Jeanne Crain), one who has very ambitious plans. Her plans lead to a range war with her neighbors.

Dempsey defects to the opposing side but ultimately sides with Jimson, before riding off to a new life.

About half-way through the movie, Dempsey tells Jeff that many men follow a star to set their destination. When asked by Jeff what star he follows, Dempsey tells him that he follows no particular star. Therefore, he's a man without a star.



Douglas later estimated he made over a million dollars from the film.[2]

See also


  1. 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  2. Kirk Douglas: Hollywood's Moverick-Agent-Star Haber, Joyce. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]14 Feb 1971: r11.

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