6.4/10
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18 user 7 critic

Three Hours to Kill (1954)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 4 November 1954 (USA)
Framed for murder, Jim Guthrie barely escapes lynching by the town mob, becomes a wanted fugitive for three years but returns to find the real killer.

Director:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

Richard Alan Simmons (screen play), Roy Huggins (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Jim Guthrie
Donna Reed ... Laurie Mastin
Dianne Foster ... Chris Palmer
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Sheriff Ben East
Richard Coogan ... Niles Hendricks
Laurence Hugo Laurence Hugo ... Marty Lasswell
James Westerfield ... Sam Minor
Richard Webb ... Carter Mastin
Carolyn Jones ... Polly
Charlotte Fletcher Charlotte Fletcher ... Betty
Whit Bissell ... Deke
Felipe Turich Felipe Turich ... Esteban
Arthur Fox Arthur Fox ... Little Carter
Francis McDonald ... Deputy Vince
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Storyline

Jim Guthrie (Dana Andrews) is a fugitive who has been run out of town after being nearly lynched for the murder of a man he did not kill. He returns, bearing the physical and mental scars of his experience, determine to clear his name. The would-be-lynchers , fearing that Guthrie will exact some kind of revenge for their anti-social treatment to him, set out to get him before he gets them. Laurie Mastin (Donna Reed) is the pregnant girl he left behind who marries another man, and Chris Palmer (Diane Foster) is the girl Guthrie takes with him after the real killer has been identified and harshly dealt with. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fugitive | three | hour | wanted | mob | See All (83) »

Taglines:

The Man With The Rope Scar ON HIS NECK!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gunslinger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dana Andrews had worked with director Alfred Werker in the WWII Thriller 'Sealed Cargo' in 1951. See more »

Goofs

After Guthrie disarms the arresting Marshal and takes his horse to ride back into town, he arrives on a totally different horse. The horse he arrives on is much darker with distinctly different coloration. See more »

Quotes

Jim Guthrie: Did you know we were going to get some cattle with the place?
Laurie Mastin: Cattle? How many?
Jim Guthrie: Two. We're going to be cattle barons.
See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
[Heard playing by musicians at the dance.]
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User Reviews

A Sagebrush "Whodunit"
1 October 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Dour little Western (just count the smiles) that still manages a few surprises. So, who killed Carter. Not Jim Guthrie (Andrews), even though an over-eager lynch mob thinks so, leaving him with a permanent neck burn and a smoldering desire for revenge. It looks like a lot of folks hated Carter, so now, three years later, Guthrie's sleuthing work is cut out for him. A grudgingly sympathetic sheriff gives the innocent man three hours to nail the real culprit. So, it's a suspenseful countdown to sundown. Can he do it.

Can't help noticing this tale of a driven man's revenge was produced by Harry Joe Brown who later produced the thematically similar Randolph Scott cycle of Westerns (The Tall T {1957}; Comanche Station {1960} et al.). There's a strong similarity in the character and temperament of the leads, which suggests producer Brown had both a definite point of view and at least some influence on the screenplays.

Director Werker gets a lot out of LA area locations and a mixed cast of veterans like Andrews and newcomers like Foster. The unstable relationship between Andrews and Reed is more interesting and complex than in most Westerns. But I did have some difficulty keeping track of the four prominent ladies, a more crowded field than in most oaters. Anyway, the movie is a neat combination of whodunit and sagebrush that'll keep you guessing, without the usual clichés.


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