Rebel in Town

Rebel in Town
Directed by Alfred L. Werker
Produced by Howard W. Koch
Aubrey Schenck
Screenplay by Danny Arnold
Story by Danny Arnold
Starring John Payne
Ruth Roman
J. Carrol Naish
Ben Cooper
Music by Les Baxter
Cinematography Gordon Avil
Edited by John F. Schreyer
Schenck-Koch Productions
Bel-Air Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 30, 1956 (1956-07-30) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rebel in Town is a 1956 American Western film directed by Alfred L. Werker starring John Payne, Ruth Roman, J. Carrol Naish and Ben Cooper.[1] It contains stylistic elements of film noir.


Home from the Civil War, where he fought for the Union army, John Willoughby now lives in the western town of Kittreck Wells with wife Nora and their 7-year-old son, Petey. An appeal for help from Marshal Russell comes when a band of former Confederate soldiers are seen pulling a robbery in a neighboring town. John, who hates all rebels, agrees to go, against his wife's wishes that all his fighting must end.

The rebel clan of Bedloe Mason and three of his four sons comes to town for supplies. Petey, who shares his father's dislike of rebels, aims and fires a cap pistol at them. Startled by the sound, Wesley Mason shoots and kills the boy.

Gray Mason, not having been present, hears what happened in town and appeals to his father and brothers that they go back to face the consequences. Wesley is dead-set against this and the others take his side. Gray rides off alone, but Wesley ambushes his brother by throwing a knife into his back, as the horse gallops off with Gray in the saddle.

Wesley lies to his father that Gray will meet them in the next town. Gray's horse wanders into town, where John and Nora remove the wounded man from the saddle and take him into their home. John is still determined to learn who killed the child, and an eyewitness accuses Gray of being one of the gang. Nora has to stop her husband from attacking Gray with an axe.

The marshal places Gray under arrest until a trial can be convened. A lynch mob threatens to drag him out of the jail. Bedloe, meanwhile, realizes Wesley has been lying. He ties his son to a tree and whips him until Wesley confesses what really happened. Just as the vigilantes are about to hang Gray, the Masons ride into town. Wesley pulls a gun but John, finally aware who really killed the boy, shoots Wesley dead, saving Gray's life.



Paul Mavis of DVD Talk rated it 3.5/5 stars and called it "a surprisingly nimble, efficient B-western with a lot going on under the surface".[2]

TV Guide rated it 3/4 stars and called it "a finely scripted, produced, and acted film".[3]

See also


  1. Rebel in Town at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. Mavis, Paul (2011-09-23). "Rebel in Town". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  3. "Rebel in Town". TV Guide. Retrieved 2014-09-09.

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