Star in the Dust

Star in the Dust is a 1956 American Western film directed by Charles F. Haas and starring John Agar, Mamie Van Doren and Richard Boone.

Star in the Dust
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCharles F. Haas
Produced byAlbert Zugsmith
Screenplay byOscar Brodney
Based onLaw Man (1953 novel)
by Lee Leighton
StarringJohn Agar
Mamie Van Doren
Richard Boone
CinematographyJohn L. Russell
Edited byRay Snyder
Color processTechnicolor
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 2, 1956 (1956-05-02) (Los Angeles)
  • June 13, 1956 (1956-06-13) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

In the town of Gunlock, sheriff Bill Jorden is due to hang Sam Hall for cattle-stealing. Jorden has to contend, however, with various citizens, including the cowboys who want to rescue Hall and the cattlemen and farmers who want to lynch him. Hall, meanwhile, is planning his escape with girlfriend Nellie.[1]


In the late 1800s in the western town of Gunlock, gunslinger Sam Hall, who has murdered three farmers, is scheduled to be hanged at sundown. Sheriff Bill Jorden faces opposition from the cattlemen’s association, who had hired Hall to kill the farmers as part of a plot to acquire more grazing land. A group of farmers, fearing that the cattlemen will spring the killer before he is hanged, want the sheriff to hang Hall as quickly as possible. Fearing violence between the ranchers and farmers, Jorden tries to call for additional help but discovers that the telegraph line serving the town has been cut. Informed that the farmers are headed to town to kill Hall, Bill meets them and reasons with them to allow the law to handle Hall’s punishment. On the morning of the hanging, Jorden brings out Hall, threatening to shoot the prisoner himself if anyone tries to stop the hanging but before Hall is executed, the ranchers set the gallows on fire, precipitating a gun battle between opposing factions. Hall is eventually hanged and the cattlemen are brought to justice.[2][3]



The film included an early appearance of Clint Eastwood, who played a very small role as a ranch hand.

One of the movie's scenes features Coleen Gray and Randy Stuart fighting for possession of incriminating letters hidden in a suitcase. The actresses invited their husbands to watch the scene's filming which lasted over 50 seconds and included both women punching and wrestling each other. At the conclusion of the choreographed scene, Gray recalled in a later interview, the women simply dusted themselves off, but the two husbands ..."were pale and clammy and weak in the knees" having watched their wives engage in a lengthy fistfight.[4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ Synopsis by Rod Crawford at website
  3. ^ "Star in the Dust". AFI Catalog of Feature Films - The First Hundred Years 1893–1993. American Film Institute. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ Magers, Boyd (1999). Westerns Women Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7864-2028-5. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, Mike. "An Interview with Coleen Gray". Western Clippings. Retrieved 28 October 2019.

External linksEdit