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The Badge of Marshal Brennan

1957 | FULLSCREEN (4:3) | BLACK & WHITE | Quality: Excellent

Jim Davis

Arleen Whelan

Lee Van Cleef


Jeff Harlan (Jim Davis) is on the run when he encounters Marshal Matt Brennan (Douglas Fowley) dying in the desert. He sees an opportunity and takes Brennan's badge and identity, but then winds up having to help a nearby town doctor (Harry Lauter) to stop infected cattle from leaving the area and causing an outbreak, as he tries to develop an antidote for the people already affected. But the cattle-driving Donaphins (Louis Jean Heydt and Lee Van Cleef as father and son, respectively) are intent to push their cattle across the river and will stop at nothing to achieve their aims, leading to an inevitable showdown!

This was quite a big opportunity for Jim Davis as he's top-billed for the first time here and has the lion's share of scenes, getting to enjoy some romance with Arleen Whelan and punching things up with legendary Hollywood badman Lee Van Cleef! There are many extremely interesting components of this film including seeing country music stars Carl Smith and Marty Robbins showing off their acting chops. The fender guitar music by Ramey Idriss is also a standout accompaniment to the score, and the unique directorial touches of Albert C. Gannaway add no small amount of style to the picture. For example, Van Cleef throws a vial of blood right onto the camera lens, and Davis speaks about not running away from his problems while there is some clever work done with shadows looming over him. All of these ingredients add up to make The Badge of Marshal Brennan highly recommended!

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