Man Without a Star (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Man Without a Star1955

Man Without a Star (1955)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this deceptively titled and paced Western, Kirk Douglas shines in the hyper-macho role of Dempsey Rae, a good-natured drifter with a mysterious past up from Texas, a top hand with a gun, a horse, or a herd, who can even play the banjo and sing. He rides into a Wyoming town in a freight car, in the company of much younger drifter Jeff Jimson (William Campbell), who knows even less about the West than he does about life. Dempsey gets Jeff out of a few scrapes with the law, and both get hired by the foreman (Jay C. Flippen) of the Triangle Ranch. With 8,000 head, the Triangle is already the largest spread in the territory, but the new owner from back east, Miss Reed Bowman (Jeanne Crain), arrives with plans to move in another 22,000 head onto the open range, threatening to squeeze out the smaller ranches completely. Meanwhile, the other ranchers plan on saving some of the grass for winter feed and fence it off with barbed wire. When Bowman discovers that she can't hold onto Dempsey as either a man or a foreman, she seduces Jeff -- who's too quick to become a man -- to run interference on him, and hires a crew of gunmen led by Steve Miles (Richard Boone) to tear down the wire. A range war is about to break out, and Dempsey, who wants no part of barbed wire and carries the scars to show why, plans on pulling out. But then Miles and his men overplay their hand, and Dempsey throws in with the smaller ranchers. The body count suddenly starts going against Miles, who digs in for a final fight, and now it's Jeff and Bowman who find themselves caught between two unstoppable forces that they've helped unleash.


Kirk Douglas
as Dempsey Rae
Jeanne Crain
as Reed Bowman
Richard Boone
as Steve Miles
William Campbell
as Jeff Jimson
Mara Corday
as Moccasin Mary
Myrna Hansen
as Tess Cassidy
Jay C. Flippen
as Strap Davis
Paul Birch
as Mark Tolliver
Jack Elam
as Drifter
Myron Healey
as Mogollon
Eddy Waller
as Bill Cassidy
Frank Chase
as Little Waco
Roy Barcroft
as Sheriff Olson
Millicent Patrick
as Box Car Alice
William Challee
as Brick Gooder
Jim Hayward
as Duckbill
Malcolm Atterbury
as Fancy Joe Toole
Mark Hanna
as Concho Perez
Lee Roberts
as Brakeman
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Critic Reviews for Man Without a Star

All Critics (4)

One of the better westerns. Kirk Douglas appears as a banjo-strumming slugger with a fondness for pretty girls and a hatred for barbed-wire fences. With Jeanne Crain, and other worthies.

November 11, 2019 | Full Review…

A conventional range war cowboy story.

July 2, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Solid old-fashioned Western.

June 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

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