The Violent Men

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The Violent Men
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rudolph Maté
Produced by Lewis J. Rachmil
Written by Harry Kleiner
Based on Smoky Valley
1954 novel
by Donald Hamilton
Music by Max Steiner
Edited by Jerome Thoms
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 26, 1955 (1955-01-26)
Running time
96 mins[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,950,000 (US)[2]

The Violent Men is a 1955 Technicolor CinemaScope Western drama film directed by Rudolph Maté,[3] based on the novel Smoky Valley by Donald Hamilton first published in 1954,[4][5] and starring Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck[5] and Edward G. Robinson.[3][5] The storyline involves a ranch owner who comes into conflict with the land grabbing tactics the big local family but whose own tense marriage threatens their strangle hold over the region. The supporting cast features Brian Keith,[1][5] Dianne Foster,[1] May Wynn,[6] and Warner Anderson.[1][3][5]


Parrish (Ford), a Union Army ex-officer, plans to sell his land to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, Caroline (Wynn), but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner, Lew Wilkison (Robinson), and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think again. When one of Parrish's hands is murdered, he decides to stay and fight, utilizing his war experience.

Not all is well at Anchor with the owner's wife, Martha (Stanwyck), carrying on with his brother, Cole (Keith), who also has a Mexican moll in town. Parrish eventually gets the upper hand, and when the Wilkisons' daughter, Judith (Foster), comes to understand what her family is like and what Parrish has been up against, she realizes they can join forces as peaceful neighbors and perhaps more.



The Violent Men was released in theatres on January 26, 1955. The film was released on DVD on April 5, 2005.[7]


Critical response[edit]

Film critic Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote in his review: "COLUMBIA has pulled all the levers in making The Violent Men, a broad-beamed and action-crammed western that opened yesterday at Loew's State. It has ticked off a well-machined scenario, a three-starred "big name" cast and a scenic outdoor production that looks mighty grand in CinemaScope. If, at the end, it leaves you feeling you've seen just another horse-opera — another run-through of squatters battling rangers—it's no wonder, for that's what it is."[8] TV Guide wrote:"Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Glenn Ford, and Brian Keith star in THE VIOLENT MEN, a better-than-average psychological western featuring impressive CinemaScope photography and some hard-charging action scenes."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Blottner 2015, p. 241.
  2. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  3. ^ a b c "The Violent Men". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Donald (1976). Smoky Valley (Reissue ed.). United States: Fawcett Publications. ISBN 978-0449136775. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Beck 2008, p. 332.
  6. ^ Darby 2009, p. 97.
  7. ^ The Violent Men. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (DVD). Culver City, California: Sony Pictures. April 5, 2005. ASIN B0007MAO02. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  8. ^ Crowther, Bosley (January 27, 1955). "The Screen in Review; Good Ones Shoot Bad Ones in 'Violent Men'". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 6, 2017. 
  9. ^ "The Violent Men". TV Guide. New York City: NTVB Media (magazine) CBS Interactive (CBS Corporation)
    (digital assets). Retrieved May 6, 2016.


External links[edit]