The Tin Star
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The charm of THE TIN STAR is that it shows a character-driven western, a type that was not used again until Clint Eastwood revived the genre in his pre-DIRTY HARRY days. Fonda and Perkins bounce off each other in all the right ways. In supporting roles, Lee Van Cleef, Neville Brand, John McIntyre, and Betsy Palmer add their distinctive style to a beloved genre of the western. In the extended conversations between veteran and rookie, both learn that a badge has a value unconnected to its metallic composition. A true lawman will comport himself just as if the badge were pure gold. THE TIN STAR is a movie of pure gold.
Fonda comes into a small town with an outlaw dead over a saddle. He's a bounty hunter, formerly a lawman who has become cynical with life and justice, and prefers the pay and independence of bounty hunting to being a town marshal. The town has a young and very inexperienced sheriff, played by Anthony Perkins, who is struggling to hold the town together as a bigoted bully played by Neville Brand tries to force his way into the sheriff's office. Fonda takes a liking to Perkins, and tries to show him the tricks of the trade. When two half-breed brothers kill the town doctor, events spiral out of control.
The Tin Star is full of wonderful performances, from Fonda who sees in the idealistic Perkins the younger man he used to be and learns to love again thanks to Betsy Palmer, who plays a widow who has a half-breed son; to Perkins, who hits the right notes as someone who'll make a fine lawman if his dumb mistakes don't kill him first, and Brand as a menacing, hateful brute who runs over as many people as he can. John McIntire (another frequent Mann collaborator) is also great as the town doctor.
This is an all-time classic. Don't miss it.
In The Tin Star Fonda is superb as an embittered ex-sheriff turned bounty hunter who scoffs at naive but dedicated Anthony Perkins, the newly-appointed sheriff in a town to which Fonda has come to collect the reward for an outlaw he has killed. While waiting in town for his reward money to arrive, Fonda reluctantly mentors Perkins in the art of being an effective sheriff and staying alive while doing it. There is a subplot involving Fonda's developing relationship with a widow (played by Betsy Palmer) and her half-Indian son. Although there is action in The Tin Star, the movie is primarily about the relationships among the principal characters and how they change each other. This is a very good western -- indeed a very good movie -- in every respect. But Fonda's role makes it outstanding. Please don't pass up this under-appreciated classic now that it's available on DVD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this story. Henry Fonda teaches a young deputy when and how to use a gun... and which gun to use at which time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Next to Shane, this is the best western ever. I could watch this once a year easy.Published 1 month ago by Donald R. Harris
Wonderful old Western. Henry Fonda is the jaded bounty hunter who will only use his gun for money. Anthony Perkins is the young deputy who must take over as the sheriff during a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Russell S
Henry Fonda is simply a legend. This was a part he was born to play. Anthony Perkins performs well as the young inexperienced lawman willing to learn from an experienced ex-lawman... Read morePublished 1 month ago by submariner
Awesome classic movie with two great star's and supporting cast!Published 2 months ago by ted galloway
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