The Law and Jake Wade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Law and Jake Wade Reviews

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½ June 25, 2016
Tough little John Sturges directed western follows reformed ex-outlaw Jade Wake, played by Robert Taylor, who is now a peaceable town sheriff. His new life if disrupted when a former partner in crime, Richard Widmark, escapes from prison and then stalks Taylor and his bride-to-be until he can get Taylor to reveal to him where the stolen loot from their last heist is buried. It's a well make and no nonsense western with a strong cast that besides Taylor and the always great Widmark includes Patricia Owens, Henry Silva, and DeForest Kelley. And fine photography by Robert Surtees.
½ July 29, 2014
A fine piece of Awesome Western with top notch performances from Widmark & Taylor--Solid Stuff... Dark & Dusty!!
½ September 30, 2012
The Law and Jake Wade is a fairly stock western starring Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens and the glorious Western scenery. The interest comes from the interaction of Taylor and Widmark, two most different actors. Widmark is twitchy, edgy and evokes not the nineteenth but the mid- twentieth century. Taylor has an ageless quality to him, a solidity and stability that lets the other actors bounce off him like pygmies off a giant. He also exudes a kind of integrity and decency even when he's supposed to be a (reformed, mostly) bad man. Owens does what she can with an underwritten part. The plot is discussed elsewhere in more detail. The movie moves quickly with lots of action. It's definitely worth a look, maybe more than one.
July 14, 2012
another good late 50's psychological westerns
½ July 5, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012

(1958) The Law And Jake Wade

Robert Taylor stars as Jake Wade whose succeeded in breaking a murdered criminal Cling(Richard Widmark) out of jail to settle an old debt but apparently there's another reason as the film is progressing. Original and well photographed Western film, and the setting is very gritty.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars
January 24, 2012
A mediocre film about a do-gooder and a bad-do-er in a western.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2011
Solid western benefits from beautiful location photography and a strong cast. Taylor is looser than usual and his weathered appearance suits his character's back story. The best performance unsurprisingly comes from the great Richard Widmark, true his part is nothing he hasn't done before but he was always so adept and enjoyable in his villianry it's a pleasure to watch.
January 2, 2011
It's ok. Robert Taylor is uninspired and the material is a bit generic. However, the supporting cast is excellent and it moves along quickly.
½ December 5, 2010
Just average as far as American westerns go...

Richard Widmark stands out in his performance as Clint Hollister and John Sturges makes his usual, incredible mark on direction. He really was an amazing director with unbelievably gargantuan moviemaking skill.

Unfortunately, he's held back considerably by some fairly wooden performances from Robert Taylor and Patricia Owens and the film suffers for it.

Decent for a Sunday afternoon if your in the mood for a western and you want something you won't feel bad catnapping through.
August 29, 2010
wow umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch............its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie..............i think that robert taylor, richard widmark, patricia owens, deforest kelley, henry silva, robert middleton, burt douglas, eddie firestone, henry de silva play good roles/parts throguhout this movie...............i think that robert taylor, rochard widmark, deforest kelley, henry silva were great throughout this movie............i think that the director of this adventure/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie............i think that this is a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie its a really enjoyable classics adventure movie 2 watch
½ May 8, 2010
The rugged John Sturges western "The Law and Jake Wade" is a solidly made, entertaining 1950's era oater that stands out as one of the earliest 'take-me-to-the-buried-treasure' plots. Indeed, Robert Taylor is rather wooden as Jake Wade, but after all, Taylor is the hero and Wade is a lawman who represents the status quo. Richard Widmark said in an interview that he thought the movie was bad but he enjoyed the character of villainous Clint Hollister. The cast is uniformly excellent,especially De Forest Kelly with his Southern drawl and Henry Silva as the crazed kid Rennie. Aside from one obvious studio bound scene around a night camp fire, this western was filmed in the rugged outdoors at Lone Pine, California, and in Death Valley.

"The Law and Jake Wade" opens traditionally with a lone horseman riding through scenic terrain until he enters a clapboard western town and reins up in front of a marshal's office. Quietly, Jake Wade (Robert Taylor of "Quo Vadis") dismounts and walks into the office and thrusts the muzzle of a shotgun into the lawman's back. Clint Hollister (Richard Widmark of "Kiss of Death") is lounging in the calaboose when he spots Jake with a shotgun in the marshal's back. "Well, who'd have thought," he marvels as his old friend forces the lawman to unlock the cell. Hollister complains about the terrible food that he has been served and slugs the lawman, knocking him out cold. As he is buckling on his gun belt, two deputies walk in unexpectedly, and he cuts loose on them with lead. Jake Wade, who has been trying to get them both out of town with the least amount of commotion, knocks the gun out of Clint's hand. They ride out with the townspeople firing shots at them. As it turns out, Jake and Clint once rode together as partners in crime. Their lawless days came to an end when Jake thought that he had gunned down an innocent child during a daylight robbery. Jake took the loot from the robbery and never looked back. Indeed, he rode away and buried the money and then created a new life for himself. Now, he serves as a lawman himself with a prospective bride-to-be, Peggy (Patricia Owens of "Seven Women from Hell"), awaiting marriage. Jake rides with Clint for a ways then decides to split up. Clint is happy to see Jake but he feels betrayed by Jake's stashing the loot and leaving the gang. Jake explains to Clint that he saved his old outlaw buddy from a date with the noose because Clint had rescued him from being hanged in the old days. Clint wants to shoot it out now with Jake, but Jake refuses to give him a gun.

When Jake returns to town, he spots a suspicious cowboy, Rennie (Henry Silva of "Sergeants Three"), loitering on front street. Later, Jake dresses up in his best suit and rents a buggy to visit Peggy. They quarrel because Jake wants her to move with him away somewhere else. Peggy doesn't want to leave and storms away from a dinner table. Jake rides back to town and an inquisitive Rennie visits him at the jail. Something about Rennie spooks Jake, and he slugs the kid without warning. Before he realizes it, another old friend Ortero (Robert Middleton of "Cattle King") pulls a derringer on him. It seems that Jake's deputy had locked up Ortero for sleeping off a drunk in the gutter, but he forget to frisk him. The rest of Clint's gang arrive, including Wexler (De Forest Kelly of "Star Trek"). Wexler isn't too happy with Jake either for pulling out on them and taking the money. Jake explains that he took the money, buried it, and refused to look back. Clint wants Jake to take them to where he buried the loot. Initially, Jake says no until Clint takes Peggy hostage, and Jake has to lead them to the loot.

"Bad Day at Black Rock" director John Sturges doesn't waste a moment in this character-driven epic. Everybody has that tough leathery look and these are no-nonsense characters. No sooner have they left for the badlands where the loot is buried than they learn that the Indians are on the warpath, adding to their woes. Jake tries to escape at one point, but Clint is just too sly for him. Eventually, when they reach the ramshackle ghost town where Jake buried the money, we learn he stashed it in the local cemetery, anticipating a similar burial of stolen gold in Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

Three-time Oscar winning lenser Robert Surtees of "PT-109" and "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo" photographed this western in widescreen and it looks terrific! Some of the long shots will just blow your mind, but then anybody who watches Sturges' westerns will know that the director loved to shoot really long, long shots. Ferris Webster, another Sturges' favorite, edited "The Law and Jake Wade." The screenplay by William Bowers of "Support Your Local Sheriff" provides some flavorful dialogue. Widmark excels as the villain. The last shoot-out seems to prematurely end, still "The Law and Jake Wade" ranks as one of those memorable, widescreen western from the 1950s. Okay, "The Law and Jake Wade" isn't the greatest western ever made, but it is competently-down, suspenseful and a wonderful way to burn 86 minutes.
½ July 14, 2009
An extremely good western which has a more than a thriller touch to it. It has a fantastic fast paced story, there is not a dull moment in the entire film! There is moderate action in the film, but it is just the right amount and it doesnâ??t need to be overdone. The amount of twists and turns in this film is amazing; it is a well thought out thrilling story, which is essentially a story of who wits and who holds the upper hand. The final scenes including the final showdown is fantastic and very well thought out and very well acted.

Both principal actors, Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark act very well and have been excellently chosen for their roles. It is Widmark who stands out the most as the sly, cunning villain of the film Clint Hollister. He is perfect in the role!!! The scenes leading up to the final showdown are the best between Taylor and Widmark as each deliver some fantastic dialogue and some fine acting.

Overall a very good thriller western which had a solid cast especially its principal stars and some great dialogue. There is just enough action in it and the story is fantastic with the amount of dramatic twists and turns in it.
June 28, 2009
A steady adventure western with excellent vistas. Taylor is the lead, but Widmark is the star, his bad-guy is mean and dominates the film.
½ May 24, 2009
Not a very good western. This was during the time when westerns were huge and every producer, writer, and director wanted a slice of the wealth to be made. So B mocvies like this one were created. The mivie started out well amd I was excited for a time, but the dialouge just got more long winded by the second, and the characters were making decsisions that were obviously stupid. A waste of a good cast.
February 15, 2009
Taylor's indifferent performance sucks out what little life Widmark and Henry Silva breathe into this by-the-numbers, "out-of-the-past" melodrama.
½ February 3, 2009
Quite nice Western, how a once-bad-guy is tricked by his old partner in crime. Has everything a good Western-film should have, with that extra twist. It's quite a lot of thoughts that one can imagine goes through the heads of the characters.
September 22, 2008
Solid western with Taylor as a reformed badman who tries to do an old pal a favor. Sadly, that pal is Richard Widmark, and he's a total cunt. Great stuff.
½ August 11, 2008
A saucy tale of revenge. A better than average American Western.
August 10, 2008
ok western good story
½ March 31, 2008
Above average western with Robert Taylor on fine form as the flawed Marshal and Widmark producing his usual bad guy performance very few others were able to match.
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