The Proud Ones

The Proud Ones is a 1956 DeLuxe Color western CinemaScope film directed by Robert D. Webb and starring Robert Ryan and Virginia Mayo.

The Proud Ones
Film poster
Directed byRobert D. Webb
Produced byRobert L. Jacks
Screenplay byEdmund H. North
Joseph Petracca
Based onThe Proud Ones
1952 novel
by Verne Athanas
StarringRobert Ryan
Virginia Mayo
Jeffrey Hunter
Music byLionel Newman
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byHugh S. Fowler
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 1956 (1956-05)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.4 million[1]

Plot summary

Cass Silver (Robert Ryan), marshal of a small Kansas town, is expecting trouble with the arrival of the first Texas trail herds on the newly completed railroad. The town’s new saloon owner, Honest John Barrett (Robert Middleton) is anticipating an increase in business; he and Silver have negative history between them and Barrett wants rid of the marshal. To make matters worse, the marshal's deputy, Thad Anderson (Jeffrey Hunter), formerly one of the trail cowboys, is the son of a gunfighter Cass shot years before, in another town. Thad wants to avenge this death; he has always believed his father was unarmed when Silver shot him. Eventually, Thad realizes the truth and helps the marshal restore law and order to the town.



The film was based on the novel by Verne Athanas which was published in 1952.[2]

Film rights were purchased by 20th Century Fox in November 1952 who assigned Frank Rosenberg to produce.[3] Victor Mature, Robert Wagner and Debra Paget were originally announced as stars.[4]

The film was not made for a number of years however. In December 1955 Fox said the leads would be played by Robert Ryan, and Virginia Mayo and it would be produced by Robert Jacks with filming to start December 28.[5] Joseph Petracca did a rewrite of the script.[6] Guy Madison was meant to co-star. He dropped out and was replaced by Robert Stack.[7] In early January Stack was replaced by Jeffrey Hunter.[8]


The "Theme from the Proud Ones" written by Lionel Newman, recorded by Nelson Riddle, reached number 39 on the US charts on August 4, 1956. [9]

See also


  1. Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p250
  2. Books Published Today New York Times 1 Apr 1952: 27.
  3. DANNY THOMAS SET IN 2D JOLSON ROLE: Gets Leading Part in Warner Remake of 'Wonder Bar' -- New Songs Are Planned By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times 29 Nov 1952: 12.
  4. Mature Will Portray Sheriff in Western Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 1 Dec 1952: B10.
  5. Drama: Actor Middleton Soars to Stardom; Borgnine, Magnani Voted as Best Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 20 Dec 1955: B7
  6. Krasna Does Stunt to Elude Censors Los Angeles Times 17 Dec 1955: A7.
  7. FILM TOUR GROUP DISBANDS IN WEST: Hollywood Coordinating Unit, Which Arranged Shows for Troops, Dissolved By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times 30 Dec 1955: 14.
  8. MARILYN MONROE WINS PACT FIGHT: Star, Fox Agree to 7-Year Non-Exclusive Contract for Total of 4 Pictures New Film for Doris Day Switches at Fox Of Local Origin By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times 5 Jan 1956: 27.
  9. Whitburn, Joel The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, Billboard Books, New York, 1992 p. 385
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