The Broken Star (1956) [DVD, Import - English audio, removable subtitles]

The Broken Star (1956) [DVD, Import - English audio, removable subtitles]

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Lesley Selander directed his first feature in 1936, a western - a genre in which he would not only excel but one where he would spend much of the rest of his career. Considered by many to be a lost gem of Selander’s, The Broken Star tells the familiar film noir tale of the lawman who decides to go into business for himself - perhaps too familiar, since Duff had starred in one version, Private Hell 36, just two years earlier - reworked as a western.

Howard Duff, who by this time was half of one of the best known celebrity couples in Hollywood (his wife was Ida Lupino), plays the deputy marshal who kills a man for $8,000 in gold and tries to cover up his crime by claiming self-defence. The Marshal orders an investigation, and in the end it is left to Duff’s best friend and fellow deputy (Bill Williams) to arrest him before the dead man’s gunslinging friends can kill him.

Highlights of the film include Lita Baron’s turn as a singing cantina señorita who uses a whip in her act, and a realistic saloon brawl between Bill Williams and a couple of henchmen. Duff delivers his trademark stoic performance, which in this instance aids his characterisation of a good man gone bad. A western which for once benefits from the addition of the murder-mystery element, The Broken Star is a good example of the more adult westerns being made in the mid-fifties.

Spanish Region 0 PAL (fully UK-compatible) DVD, Suevia Films 2012

Please note: Subtitles have been tested and confirmed removable using disc menus.

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