Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new 2K restoration of director Joseph H. Lewis’ 1958 Western noir, Terror in a Texas Town, ready for delivery as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on July 11.
Terror in a Texas Town is a mixed-genre film with a backstory that makes this a worthy addition to any film library. It works as a traditional Western, which is fine, but it has also has a kind of a peculiarity about it that makes it a standout.
First, the backstory, this is one of those Dalton Trumbo backlist scripts — fronted by Ben Perry — and Johnny Crale, the hired gun, is played by blacklisted actor Nedrick Young, who would win the Oscar for his The Defiant Ones script the same year (he was also nominated for his adaptation of Inherit the Wind in 1960).
The other element of the film is the unique weapon that our hero, George Hansen (played Sterling Hayden) defends himself with against the six-gun action of Crale … a whaler’s harpoon!
The film noir elements come from the dark (black and white) presentation and the brooding and sinister nature of the plot.
As to bonus features, there is a newly prepared introduction by author Peter Stanfield (“Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail” and “Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy”) and selected scene commentary by Stanfield.