Blu-Ray Review: Terror in a Texas Town

It’s crazy to think that the communist witch-hunt in America went on for nigh on forty years. It’s also impossible to conceive what films and movie stars we could have ended up with had it never happened. The House Un-American Activities Committee created a rift in Hollywood which never really healed. Terror in a Texas Town epitomises the idiocy. Written by the uncredited and blacklisted Oscar-winner Dalton Trumbo. Starring Sterling Hayden (who testified in front of the committee) and Nedrick Young (who refused to), it was directed by Joseph Lewis who, as it was his final film, didn’t care about the prohibition.

The wealthy McNeil (Sebastian Cabot) is hell-bent on taking over Prairie City. He’s a generous man, and willing to offer a fair price for the land. But, if you’re not willing to sell-up, he’ll be sending over Johnny Crale (Nedrick Young), a gunslinger with a steel hand, to have a quiet word. Old man Hansen (Ted Stanhope) refused to sell and paid the price with his life. His son George (Sterling Hayden) arrives from Sweden and vows to get justice.

Terror in a Texas Town is in many ways a microcosm of the atmosphere in Hollywood at the time. Whilst the townsfolk don’t want to part with their land, they’re divided, suspicious and scared. Until George arrives, they’re incapable of providing a unified front. Hayden is a force, but his Swedish accent is something else. Whilst Terror in a Texas Town shares much in common with the likes of Shane, there’s much more than meets the eye to this small, but entertaining, Western.

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction by Peter Stanfield, author of Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail and Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy
  • Scene-select commentaries by Stanfield
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov

Terror in a Texas Town is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on Monday 10 July.

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