• A Lawless Street
  • A Lawless Street (1955)
  • A Lawless Street
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A Lawless Street

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I’ve been enjoying starting to get to know the work of Joseph H. Lewis over the past year or two. Last month I got to see THE BIG COMBO, released the same year as A LAWLESS STREET, on a big screen. It was quite a stylish movie which had a couple of unforgettably staged scenes. That’s a great quote you share about him “signing his name to every frame of film.”

I’ve been enjoying starting to get to know the work of Joseph H. Lewis over the past year or two. Last month I got to see THE BIG COMBO, released the same year as A LAWLESS STREET, on a big screen. It was quite a stylish movie which had a couple of unforgettably staged scenes. That’s a great quote you share about him “signing his name to every frame of film.”

Reviews

A Lawless Street (DVD, 2005) - eBay

And there is nothing wrong with that as "A Lawless Street" is solid enough but it does have some interesting elements which help to lift it from being just average. Director Joseph H. Lewis keeps things moving, throwing a split second of action at you when you're not expecting it and employing some unconventional camera angles or at least ones which are not the norm for a 1950s western. There is also the under explored but cleverness of the storyline which sees businessman Hamer Thorne bring showgirl Tally Dickenson to town with an idea of marrying her unaware that she is in fact married to Calem, having left years earlier when she couldn't deal with the nature of his job. And then there is Calem himself a man who to everyone seems solid, happy and relaxed, he jokes with his landlady each morning and walks proudly to the jail, but then behind those close doors he is tired, forced to seek solace in a cell right at the back where he can relax. It is these little things which help make "A Lawless Street" that little bit more interesting than many a 1950s western, especially for those who watch a lot of westerns.