Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
USA 1958

 

  I don't know that there is a better way to start a film, western or not, than Joseph E. Lewis' Terror in a Texas Town (the director's last feature production). The noble music informs us of an impending conflict and we see a tall blonde man (soon recognized as Sterling Hayden) marching down the center of an old west main street. Behind him an interested mob follows at a safe distance. Wait - the blonde man is caring something on his shoulder - a rifle? - no - too large. Strange - it looks like... a whaling harpoon?! His unseen nemesis is now facing him - his back to us... taunting, and his gun and holster are easily accessible on his hip.

This low budget masterpiece achieves cult status with morally pigeon-holed, one dimensional characters and enough western conventions to approach a caricature parody... but it easily ranks as the greatest B-western of all time. The sparse exteriors were a function of the budgetary constraints but fit perfectly for the rigid and sparse stylistic composition. A typical western tale of corruption and revenge - one could only imagine how a more extensive and polished financial production would have ill-fit the atmospheric script by Dalton Trumbo (not Ben Perry) and B-master Lewis' uncompromising style that approaches an Ophuls-like exaggeration. One of the genre's best hidden gems.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 1958

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:20:48 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:55)

DVD Release Date: May 20th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

 

 

Comments:

The digital noise is quite thick and there is a lot dirt on most of this MGM image but it holds together for an acceptable, if unremarkable, transfer. There is a black bar circumventing the frame limiting the horizontal resolution on this 1.85:1 aspect ratio film. The 2.0 audio is consistent and clear and the optional subtitles are a disgusting bright yellow. Only a trailer surfaces as an extra feature. Weak, if standard fare from MGM but the film and price makes it an essential DVD - western fan or not.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!