One Foot in Hell (1960) - Rotten Tomatoes

One Foot in Hell (1960)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Movie Info

TV producer Aaron Spelling first came up with the story for this standard western set in a small town just after the American Civil War. Mitch (Alan Ladd) has tragically lost his wife during a problem in her pregnancy because he could not come up with $1.87 for the medicine she needed. A little twisted right from the beginning, he vows revenge. In the first step toward his goal, he gets the post of deputy sheriff from the repentant townspeople. In the second step, he murders the sheriff and then recruits a gang of disreputable toughs to steal $100,000 and bankrupt the town. In the last and fatal part of his plan for vengeance, he turns on his own gang of thieves. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
Fox

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Cast

Alan Ladd
as Mitch Garrett
Don Murray
as Dan Keats
Dolores Michaels
as Julie Reynolds
Dan O'Herlihy
as Sir Harry Ivers
Barry Coe
as Stu Christian
Larry Gates
as Doc Seltzer
Karl Swenson
as Sheriff Olson
John Alexander
as Sam Giller
Rachel Stephens
as Ellie Barrett
Henry Norell
as George Caldwell
Harry Carter
as Mark Dobbs
Ann Morriss
as Nellie
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Critic Reviews for One Foot in Hell

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Audience Reviews for One Foot in Hell

160703: This film was pure pleasure. When I read the synopsis on Flixster I had to see it. The description didn't seem possible from a 1960s film. Glad I took the time. A Confederate veteran, Mitch Garrett (Alan Ladd) loses the love of his life when he attempts to find medical help for his pregnant wife in a small town. Being mistreated by a hotel owner, then stalled by a storeowner and sheriff, all over $1.87 for medicine; Garrett's wife and unborn child die at the hands of the local doctor. To clear their conscience for not trusting him, the town offers Garrett multiple jobs one of which is deputy sheriff. Taking the deputy position, Garrett prepares to extract revenge against the whole town for their perceived sins. As part of his plan, Garrett enlists the aid of "the tired of living"; an alcoholic civil war veteran, Dan Keats (Don Murray), who possesses artistic skills and knowledge in making "liquid fire"; a gunfighter and fast draw contest winner, Stu Christian (Barry Coe); an English pickpocket, Sir Harry Ivers (Dan O'Herlihy); and a beautiful prostitute, Julie Reynolds (Dolores Michaels). What a fabulous, and surprising, cast for 1960. Based upon his demeanor and physical characteristics, I would never have expected the chubby cheeked Ladd to be the main star in this film. He does not fit the profile of such an angry person but perhaps that was the reason for his selection? As soon as you meet Dan Keats, you question Garrett's decision making. Can the whiskey slinger be trusted? I was intrigued by the fact Keats earns money for his addiction by drawing pictures for people. This skill comes into play later in the film further developing an already unique character. The Shootist, Stu Christian, is introduced at a quick draw contest reminiscent of The Quick and the Dead (1995). You have to believe the writer's of that film drew some inspiration from One Foot in Hell including the fact that anyone caught cheating would be shot down. And Sir Harry and Julie? Sir Harry, though quiet, fits right in and I was disappointed not to see him go. And Julie, well, you'll have to watch the film to find out. You won't be disappointed. The use of anti-heroes in 1960 was way ahead of its time. Add in treachery, multiple cold-blooded murders and a fantastic explosion (I have never seen so many cows jump at the same time) and you have a film worthy of a modern remake. Please, let it be done in my lifetime.

John Redshaw
John Redshaw

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