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Sterling Hayden, Nedrick Young, Sebastian Cabot, Carol Kelly
Joseph H. Lewis
Ben Perry/Dalton Trumbo
80 Mins.
Arrow Films

 "Terror in a Texas Town" Gets Arrow Films Blu-ray Release 
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Terror in a Texas Town was director Joseph H. Lewis's 41st and final film, a weaving together of Lewis's two most common styles of filmmaking, film noir and western. 

McNeil (Sebastian Cabot) is a greedy hotel owner who aspires to taking absolute control of the town of Prairie City. To do this, he's trying to play the nice guy by "convincing" the local farmers to sell of their land at, of course, less than its actual value. When that doesn't work like it's supposed to, he hires Crale (Nedrick Young) to put the fear of God into 'em. This leads to the death of a former whaler whose son, George Hansen (Sterling Hayden), comes to town prepared to claim his inherited land. Armed with only his father's old harpoon, Hansen sets out to exact revenge. 

While the story contained within Terror in a Texas Town ought to sound a wee bit familiar, it's the way it's constructed that is a true delight and that comes courtesy of Dalton Trumbo, who as the time was one of the Hollywood Ten blacklisted and forced to write under a variety of pseudonyms including this one, Ben Perry. For anyone familiar with Trumbo's work, Terror in a Texas Town is a Trumbo screenplay all the way. 

Terror in a Texas Town features a top notch ensemble cast that expertly brings to life the film's noirish elements existing smack dab in the middle of what is an otherwise pretty traditional western. The presence of Nedrick Young as Crale is a gem, Young himself having penned the Oscar-winning script for The Defiant Ones this very same year. 

With a depth not often found within the western genre and a quietly political angle that gets dangled tauntingly, as well, Terror in a Texas Town is an underrated gem that has been given a mighty fine special edition by U.K. based distributor Arrow Films. 


  • Brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction by Peter Stanfield, author of Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail and Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy
  • Scene-select commentaries by Stanfield
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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