Man in the Shadow (1957 American film)

Man in the Shadow is a 1957 American CinemaScope Crime Western film directed by Jack Arnold and starring Jeff Chandler, Orson Welles, Colleen Miller and Ben Alexander.

Man in the Shadow
Directed byJack Arnold
Produced byAlbert Zugsmith
Written byGene L. Coon
Orson Welles
StarringJeff Chandler
Orson Welles
Colleen Miller
Ben Alexander
CinematographyArthur E. Arling
Edited byEdward Curtiss
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • December 12, 1957 (1957-12-12) (Houston, San Antonio)
  • December 12, 1957 (1957-12-12) (Fort Worth Texas)
  • January 22, 1958 (1958-01-22) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.53 million


The cow town of Spurline is effectively ruled by Virgil Renchler (Welles), owner of the Golden Empire ranch.

One night, some of Renchler's hands beat a young laborer, Juan Martín, to death. The newly elected sheriff of Spurline, Ben Sadler , decides to investigate the murder, but must contend with Renchler's henchmen and the fierce opposition of the townspeople, who fear Spurline would be ruined without the Golden Empire's business.

Ranch foreman Ed Yates admits to Renchler that he killed Martin, but employee Chet Huneker is persuaded to tell the law that he hit Martin accidentally with a car. Renchler's daughter, Skippy (Miller), tells the sheriff what she remembers from the night of Martin's death.

Sadler is beaten by Yates and Huneker, then dragged through town, tied to the back of a truck. Sadler gets a shotgun, tosses aside his badge and, with help from cropper Aiken Clay (Dano), goes after Renchler and his men, defeating them with the help of the townspeople, who then return Sadler's badge to him.



The movie was originally called Pay the Devil.[2] It was Jeff Chandler's last film under his exclusive deal with Universal.[3]

Albert Zugsmith says the budget was $600,000 much of which was overheard - $375,000 got on screen.[1]

The part of Virgil Renchler was originally going to be played by Robert Middleton but agents from the William Morris Agency suggested Orson Welles, who badly needed the money ($60,000) to pay back taxes.[1] It was his first Western. During the course of making the film, Welles rewrote sections of the script. He also formed a relationship with Albert Zugsmith who produced Welles' next movie as director, Touch of Evil (1958).[4]

Filming started October 1956.[5]

Director Jack Arnold says he had one incident with Orson Welles on Welles' first day of shooting but after that he was "wonderful" to work with and full of good ideas.[6]

See also


  1. Flynn, Charles; McCarthy, Todd (1975). "Albert Zugmsith". In Flynn, Charles; McCarthy, Todd (eds.). Kings of the Bs : working within the Hollywood system : an anthology of film history and criticism. E. P. Dutton. p. 418.
  2. Orson Welles Is a Cowboy in His First Western Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 03 Oct 1956: b3.
  3. SYMBOLIC DRAMA WILL BE A MOVIE: 'A Passenger to Bali,' Which Ran Here in 1940, Bought by Security Pictures By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 24 Sep 1956: 23.
  4. Jeff Stafford, 'Man in the Shadow', Turner Classic Movies accessed 28 July 2012
  5. FOX NAMES STARS OF 'WAYWARD BUS': Widmark and Gene Tierney to Act in Movie Version of John Steinbeck Novel Welles to Co-Star By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 04 Oct 1956: 29.
  6. Lawrence French, 'Interview with Jack Arnold', accessed 28 July 2012

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.