Duel at Silver Creek

The Duel at Silver Creek

4.0 1
Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, Stephen McNally

     
 

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Don Seigel's Duel At Silver Creek (1952) has never loomed too large in the director's filmography, mostly because it dates from the outset of Seigel's career, when he was little more than a hired hand, doing jobs to keep afloat until projects that really mattered to him came along. It's got a lot of familiar faces in it -- beyond stars Audie Murphy, Stephen

Overview

Don Seigel's Duel At Silver Creek (1952) has never loomed too large in the director's filmography, mostly because it dates from the outset of Seigel's career, when he was little more than a hired hand, doing jobs to keep afloat until projects that really mattered to him came along. It's got a lot of familiar faces in it -- beyond stars Audie Murphy, Stephen McNally, and Faith Domergue, Susan Cabot plays a key supporting role and one can spot Lee Marvin and Gerald Mohr in the cast. This is a 1952 western, shot in 1.33-to-1 (i.e. full-screen) aspect ratio in Technicolor, and dates from the period in which Universal was grinding these pictures out at the rate of around a dozen or so a year -- the production values were low, with lots of stock music and the distinct, cheesy look of the studio backlot in just about every shot. There wasn't a lot of realism in most of them from this period; typical were costume romps like Comanche Territory or The Redhead From Wyoming, which almost look like they were done without directors, they're so indistinct and style-less. Duel At Silver Creek is better than most of the others for its somewhat darker-than-usual psychological content and the lively action sequences, and some energetic performances around the edges; there's also a genuinely chilling scene, and a suspenseful moment after that, when the female lead, whose character we've just met, quietly murders an injured victim while he awaits care from a doctor. Otherwise, it's hard to take a western too seriously that has a hero nicknamed "Lightning" and a character named Johnny Sombrero wandering through it. The 77 minute western looks to have been transferred from a very good source, retaining the requisite Technicolor luster that makes the all of it look very pretty; and every so often a character (usually but not always a woman) will appear in an article of clothing so bright -- so as to take advantage of the Technicolor film stock -- that one has to laugh at it today, along with the generic chase music. The 18 chapters are more than adequate for what is essentially a B-movie with good credentials and not a lot else to distinguish it. The original trailer, which overheats the action, is also included, accessible through a menu that opens automatically on start-up. There aren't any other extra features, apart from English, French, and Spanish captions and subtitles.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Don Siegel was still a journeyman director at the time he made The Duel at Silver Creek at Universal. Most of the studio's B-Westerns of this period looked as though the cast directed themselves, and their scripts were filled with so many clicheé that they're almost a joke to watch today. Siegel did better with this film than most, adding the occasional unexpected close-up, treating the chase scenes with unusual energy, and focusing in on the violence of the story -- including the shooting of a key female character -- in ways that anticipate his treatment of more conventional crime subjects, such as The Lineup and The Killers. The result is the most unconventional of these assembly-line Universal oaters.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2003
UPC:
0025192274626
Original Release:
1952
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:17:00
Sales rank:
21,212

Special Features

Includes original theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audie Murphy Silver Kid
Faith Domergue Opal Lacey
Stephen McNally Lightning Tyrone
Susan Cabot Dusty Fargo
Gerald Mohr Rod Lacey
Eugene Iglesias Johnny Sombrero
Kyle James Rat Face Blake
Walter Sande Pete Fargo
Lee Marvin Tinhorn Burgess
George Eldredge Jim Ryan
James Anderson Bit

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Gerald Drayson Adams Screenwriter
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Leslie I. Carey Sound/Sound Designer
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Joseph E. Gershenson Musical Direction/Supervision
Irving Glassberg Cinematographer
Leonard Goldstein Producer
Bernard Herzbrun Art Director
Joseph Hoffman Screenwriter
Corson Jowett Sound/Sound Designer
Joe Kish Set Decoration/Design
Hans J. Salter Score Composer
Russell Schoengarth Editor
Herman Stein Score Composer
Bill Thomas Costumes/Costume Designer
Bud Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. Claim Jumpers
3. Ambushed
4. Round Up A Posse
5. A Living Witness
6. Who Shot the Deputy?
7. The Silver Kid
8. In the Line of Duty
9. After Dinner Trap
10. Rat Face
11. Lynch Mob
12. Jail Break
13. Kidnapped
14. The Ransom Note
15. Duel in Silver City
16. This Time, No Tricks
17. The Shootout
18. Justice Prevails

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The Duel at Silver Creek 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good balance between deceit, gunplay and romance make The Silver Kid a cut above most westerns of its time. If you like the wide screen westerns of the 50s and 60s, then this one is a must see.