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Man in the Shadow

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Orson Welles and Jeff Chandler star in Man in the Shadow, a modern-day Western with bite and social significance. As the new sheriff in town, Ben Sadler (Chandler) believes in justice. As owner of the Golden Empire ranch, Virgil Renchler (Welles) makes his own rules, obeyed by a town that needs his business. When the brutal murder of a Mexican farm worker is covered up by all who fear its perpetrator, the formidable Renchler, Sadler fights a lonely and dangerous battle against the entire county. Up against a master manipulator, more than one attempt is made on his life. Suspense mounts steadily to a showdown - in which only one man can win.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Orson Welles, Jeff Chandler, Colleen Miller, Ben Alexander, Barbara Lawrence
  • Directors: Jack Arnold
  • Writers: Gene L. Coon
  • Producers: Albert Zugsmith
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XWGZ50
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,293 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By gobirds2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 5, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Good performances highlight this film. Jeff Chandler once again gives an excellent portrayal as the stoic, strong silent type as he upholds the law in this modern day western. Orson Welles turns in another convincing performance as the powerful rancher, a similar patriarchal role that he perfected in several of his latter films. Jeff Chandler was a rugged, virile leading man characterized by his steel gray wavy hair, high cheekbones and a muscular physique. He starred in action films from the late 1940s into the early 60s, often as American Indians, hoodlums and cavalrymen. Not an obliging star, Chandler often rebelled against Universal's mediocre action projects he was often relegated to and was suspended on several occasions. Chandler deserved better roles than he was given in the likes of "SIGN OF THE PAGAN" and "YANKEE PASHA." In his best roles Chandler was the introverted enigmatic and stoic leading man of high uncompromising character as this film demonstrates. This quality can also be seen in his performances in "AWAY ALL BOATS," "FOXFIRE," "RAW WIND IN EDEN," "THE JAYHAWKERS," "RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE" and "MERRILL'S MARAUDERS." He left us much too early at age 42.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
This 1957 black and white film focuses on a murder committed in 1956. The plot and subplots appear in dozens of other movies. Orson Wells is a very prosperous ranch owner with a ranch as large as half dozen European counties. He has about 500 Mexicans working his land and handling his cattle along with Anglos. He doesn't know the exact number of Mexican because he has no respect for them. He has a beautiful daughter who is bored with ranch life. She goes ridding with a young handsome Mexican employee. Wells is appalled. He tells his foreman, an Anglo, to take another Anglo worker with him and beat up the Mexican youth, to persuade him to stay away from his daughter, who doesn't listen to all he says. Overzealous, the foreman kills the youth. I never intended you to kill him, Orson complains. But you are involved as much as me, says the foreman.

Another Mexican sees the murder and reports it to Jeff Chandler, the sheriff. Everyone tells Jeff to forget the matter, after all the man was just a Mexican. Orson tells the town council to warn Jeff to drop the matter, to threaten him that he will lose his job, and to tell him that Orson will take his business away from the town that depends on him. They do so, but Jeff refuses. Jeff gets a search warrant, goes to the scene of the crime and finds blood. The ranch hands tamper with his car before he leaves and the car crashes, leaving Jeff hurt but not dead. Orson's daughter finds out what happened to the Mexican boy and tells Orson that she is disgusted with him and hates him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J-Man on July 30, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
......but most movie critics wouldn't know a decent movie if it ran over them.
Man in the Shadow is something like High Noon, set in 1956.
It's not as stylish as the Gary Cooper classic, but almost any movie that has Orson Welles in the cast is likely to have a decent plot, along with good acting and believable characters and dialogue, and this movie certainly does.
I could go on at length in describing the plot, but you can get a good synopsis just as easily (and a better written one, at that) at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com). Users there rate this at 6.8 out of 10 stars, and I believe that's about right.
At 80 minutes in length (why can't Hollywood put out good movies that are under 2 hours long?) it won't take up too much of your time if you're inclined to rate it any lower.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phillip on February 19, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Welles is always a fascinating actor even when he looks like he might be mailing it in. This film is 2 years before Touch of Evil and is for the same studio, Universal. This film is good, but Welles does not direct it; he is an actor for pay in this film. Everytime I see Welles act in a film he does not direct I wonder if the director of the film was at all intimidated having Welles in the cast. This movie is solid; it is just not inspired.

The dvr looks great and is in the cinemascope aspect ratio.......highly recommended for fans of Jeff Chandler and Orson.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on December 17, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
It's always good to see a performance by Orson Welles and/or Jeff Chandler, so therefore "Man in the Shadows" (1957) has some merit on those grounds.

Welles (1915-85) gets second billing, which shows how far he fell by the mid 1950s. Had he only made "Citizen Kane" (1941) he would still be a legend, and had he merely produced the 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" his name would still be up there in the pantheon of performers. He did both these things and more. But his flamboyant personality, his inability to finish projects on time and under budget, and his anti-authoritarian attitudes doomed him to scrounging for money for his projects and moving to Europe where he was more likely to get backing and where production costs were cheaper.

Welles returned to the U.S. in the mid 50s, started doing TV and, backed by his good friend Desi Arnez, returned to films. "Man" was his first film back, a mere vehicle for making money while he worked on "Touch of Evil" which appeared the next year. Welles play a large land owner whose business dominates the small town.

The film's star is Jeff Chandler (1918-61). Silver haired with sharp chiseled features, Chandler makes a great hero, which is the role he often played in films like "Sword in the Desert" (1948), "Red Ball Express" (1952) and "Merrill's Marauders" (1961). Interestingly enough he made a niche playing Indians, beginning with his award winning portrayal of Cochise in "Broken Arrow" (1950) and continuing in "Battle of Apache Pass" (1952), and "Son of Cochise" (1954). He made 50 films before his untimely death at 42. Chandler plays a small town sheriff investigating the death of a Mexican farm worker.
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