Terror in a Texas Town - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Terror in a Texas Town Reviews

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January 2, 2014
Reminescent of the western style of classics, especially High Noon, and predating in many ways what would become the new language of the American B-movie, Terror in a Texas Town stars Hayden as a Swedish peace loving seaman who finds himself in Texas looking for revenge after he finds out his father was murdered. An admirable build up of tension leads to one of the most original final showdowns in the genre's history. Though people that have seen this film remember it fondly, Terror in a Texas Town still remains somewhat of a hidden gem.
½ March 28, 2013
Sterling Hayden is a tough Swede go goes out west to help father, only to find that's he's been killed by a land baron who wants the the local farmers' land. Joseph H. Lewis. brings his usual tough, no-nonsense style to the western that features a smart script by Dalton Trumbo, who at the time was not credited and sold the script through "front" Ben Perry. But to say the story of a Scandinavian whaler coming to his fathers farm to find it being terrorized by Sebastion Cabot as off-beat is a huge understatement. But it's really the off-beat nature and unusual aspects of the film that set it apart from the hundred of other westerns that told the same story. The film also has a pretty original showdown as well. A must see for fans of Sterling Hayden.
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2011
the oddest western i've seen since 'johnny guitar' and once again sterling hayden is featured. his committed performance as a swedish whaler is what keeps this film together, in spite of his pretty laughable accent. and that final scene, well what can we say? it's the only old west showdown with a whaling harpoon. you'll just have to see it for yourself. the last film from the low budget director of 'gun crazy' and 'the big combo' is really fun
October 25, 2011
A small town in Texas is being terrorized by a greedy oil-man, Ed McNeil, who is attempting to force everyone off their land which happens to have tons of oil beneath it. One day a young Swedish man, George Hansen, shows up in town to find his father, but discovers he has been killed. Ted just left his life as a whaler to finally settle down and after learning about his father's death, he refuses to leave his land and will not rest until he finds out who is responsible for his father's death. This is just an insanely unique, beautifully shot and directed western that has so much to offer. The character of George Hansen is such a great protagonist. Being a Swedish immigrant, his English is very basic to the point that he comes off slow, while still being very intelligent. His character is driven and consumed that he doesn't back down, never fearing death, even though Ed McNeil's goons are plentiful. He isn't the only great character as Johnny Crale, Ed McNeil's right hand man, is also well developed, as our main villain, in terms of immediate danger. The actor who plays him (Nedrick Young) seemed to be channeling his inner Humphrey Bogart, as he's a cool, slick, scary individual. The film doesn't shy away from any taboo about immigrants treatment, instead it presents a much more realistic portrayal of how it probably was. Aesthetically the film has some great compositions showcasing some wild depth of frame and nice shadows. As far as the pacing goes, it flies by with lots of great tension throughout to really set-up the ending. In one word, BADASS.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2011
REALLY good B western. Maybe the only film where Sterling Hayden smiles and definitely the only movie where a man brings a WHALE HARPOON to a gun fight.

Great direction, editing and cinematography to boot!
January 7, 2011
Formidable villain, amiable drunken prostitute, Forrest-Gump-like protagonist, and a harpoon in a western. All of these are good things. An enjoyably strange but stilted oater, rather well-shot.
½ November 23, 2010
Good original western revolving around a murder and the unstoppable
justice that follows in the shape of a determined Swedish immigrant. my
oh my there was some lousy acting to behold here, with the exception of
Hayden, Cabot and..... let's just call that last one "the bad
guy"(Bogart lookalike). I must say i find the whale spear vs. a
revolver kind of amusing, but actually quite plausible if you can
believe it. The story ain't much but it aims to please. It is always
satisfying to see the average Joe stand up against tyranny and evil
s.o.b's. So by all means watch it if you enjoy old school western's
that stand out a little from the rest.
August 23, 2010
One of the best Westerns I've seen...the music, the atmosphere...the characters, is Johnny Crale one of the BEST black-clad gunmen on film? I think so....'have you never seen Death walk around in the shape of a man?'
½ September 16, 2009
Sterling Hayden plays a Swedish farmer, and his accent is only one step up from the Swedish Chef. He still delivers a great performance, but the effect is like if Jimmy Stewart had done his Vertigo performance while wearing a clown nose. (If this movie hadn't been so low budget, they could've gotten Max Von Sydow and then they really would have had something.) Aside from that, everything else is great. Ned Young is great as the villain, a man whose time has passed. The dialog is great. Another great western for Joseph H. Lewis. (Everyone should also check out A Lawless Street.)
½ August 22, 2009
Oh my - I can't believe I watched the whole thing. Possibly the most bizarre western ever made. Written by Dalton Trumbo under a fictitious name, it appears that Sterling Hayden spent about 5 minutes practicing talking like a Swede before he was being filmed. Absolutely awful. Nothing like a harpooner in a Texas town - I am still waiting for the terror (but the laughter will surely get in the way). Some say it is a comment on McCarthyism. I think they should be checking their precious bodily fluids with Mr. Hayden.
August 21, 2009
good suspense but a little dated now
½ July 20, 2009
In a harpoon vs gun showdown, who do you think will win?
May 29, 2009
Haiku Review:

Mister French wants to
drink Sterling Hayden's milkshake.
His harpoon thinks not.
January 13, 2009
Iron-hooked fury?? No shit!! An oater starring a sailor using a friggin' harpoon against a baddie with a six shooter? You're crazy if you won't watch this film.
½ September 28, 2008
Strange B-movie western from director Joseph H. Lewis. Lewis' masterful visual sense ups the tension in several memorable moments, unfortunately, the film as a whole slow-paced and talky much of the time. Iconoclastic characters are fleshed out by top-notch character actors, led by a solid, understated performance by Sterling Hayden - even though he does struggle with his phony Swedish accent. The jaunty score only heightens the unusual tone.
½ June 1, 2008
This is the last film from the great Joseph H. Lewis. If you can get past the sub-par acting, not to mention Sterling Haydenâ??s dreadful accent, then this is charming and bizarre Western. The ending may be the oddest showdown youâ??ll ever see.
½ April 12, 2008
Sterling Hayden and Sebastian Cabot were both quite good in this old-time western, but all in all a pretty weak flick.
March 20, 2008
Gran western de bajo presupuesto que no tiene nada que envidiarle a mucho de los clasicos, hay innovaciones tematicas y formales por todos lados empezando por ese excitante comienzo! Interesante por demas.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2007
A good little B-western. Swedish immigrant farmers in Hollywood westerns, usually called either Larson or just The Swede, are generally a bit too meek for their own good and over-reliant on the American gunslinger, e.g. John Wayne, to fight their battles for them. Though he's still a stereotype, it's nice to see Sterling Hayden's vengeful sailor kickin' ass for a change.
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