Review: ‘Terror in a Texas Town’

Handicapped by a slow-moving story, Terror in a Texas Town shapes up as a routine filler for the duals.

Handicapped by a slow-moving story, Terror in a Texas Town shapes up as a routine filler for the duals.

Ben L. Perry’s yarn, which he also screenplayed, revives the time-honored incident where the unscrupulous land-grabber attempts to toss the squatters off their property by hook or crook. In this case Sebastian Cabot is the No.1 heavy who carries on a campaign of intimidation with the aid of gunman Ned Young and several other cohorts.

There’s oil under them thar fields and Cabot aims to get it. But he fails to reckon with Hayden, a seafaring Swede who comes on the scene after his farmer father has been shot down by Young.

Hayden isn’t too convincing as the hero and either the story, Joseph H. Lewis’ direction or both could be listed as the culprits. Young is amply sinister as the top killer and Carol Kelly is good as the moll who eventually gives him the air.

Producer Frank N. Seltzer evidently guided this one with an eye to economy for, while there are many scenes in a hotel and one on the town’s street, seldom is anyone seen with exception of the immediate principals.

Terror in a Texas Town

Production

Seltzer. Director Joseph H. Lewis; Producer Frank N. Seltzer; Screenplay Ben L. Perry; Camera Ray Rennahan; Editor Frank Sullivan, Stefan Arnsten; Music Gerald Fried; Art Director William Ferrari

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1958. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Sterling Hayden Sebastian Cabot Carol Kelly Eugene Martin Ned Young Victor Millan

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