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The Legend of Tom Dooley

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Director  Ted Post
Writer  Stanley Shpetner
Cinematography  Gilbert Warrenton
Country  United States
6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Western
Music director  Ronald Stein
Language  English
The Legend of Tom Dooley movie poster
Release date  July 1959 (1959-07)
Cast  Michael Landon (Tom Dooley), Jo Morrow (Laura Foster), Jack Hogan (Charlie Grayson), Richard Rust (Country Boy), Dee Pollock (Abel), Ken Lynch (Father)
Similar movies  The Little Drummer Boy, Ode to Billy Joe, Coward of the County

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The Legend of Tom Dooley is a 1959 western film directed by Ted Post. It stars Michael Landon, Jack Hogan, and Jo Morrow. It was based on the 90-year-old folk song Tom Dooley, which had been inspired by the real-life case of convicted murderer Tom Dula. The ballad, as sung by the Kingston Trio, was a big hit in 1958 and is the theme song of the film. The movie's plot is consistent with the lyrics of the song but otherwise bears little resemblance to the actual murder case.


The Legend of Tom Dooley movie scenes


The Legend of Tom Dooley movie scenes

At the end of the American Civil War, Confederate soldier Tom Dooley (Landon) leads an attack on a stagecoach, unaware that the war was already over. Dooley is declared to be a murderer but he returns to his hometown hoping to marry his fiancée, Laura Foster (Morrow). Trouble soon breaks out and he and Laura are forced to elope, pursued by lawman Charlie Grayson (Hogan) who also has romantic interest in Laura. Tom and Laura get married and attempt to escape to Tennessee, but are soon captured by Grayson. Dooley is locked up in the town jail after a quick trial where he is sentenced to be hanged in the morning, but escapes with the help of one of his confederate army friends "Country Boy". Grayson catches Laura as she tries to reunite with Dooley. Grayson tries to force himself on Laura, but is interrupted by the arrival of Dooley and Country Boy. In the ensuing fight Laura is accidentally stabbed while Dooley and Grayson struggle with a knife, and then Grayson and Country Boy shoot each other. Laura dies in Dooley's arms as the sheriff arrives and recaptures Dooley, who is then led off to his execution.


The Legend of Tom Dooley movie scenes
  • Michael Landon as Tom Dooley
  • Jo Morrow as Laura Foster
  • Jack Hogan as Charlie Grayson
  • Richard Rust as Country Boy
  • Dee Pollock as Abel
  • Ken Lynch as Father
  • Howard Wright as Sheriff Joe Dobbs
  • Ralph Moody as Doc Henry
  • Cheerio Meredith as Meg
  • Jeff Morris as Confederate Soldier
  • Gary Hunley as The Kid

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