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Tribute to a Bad Man

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Director  Robert Wise
Music director  Miklos Rozsa
Language  English
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Romance, Western
Country  United States
Tribute to a Bad Man movie poster
Writer  Jack Schaefer, Michael Blankfort
Release date  April 13, 1956 (1956-04-13)
Story by  Jack Schaefer, Michael Blankfort
Cast  James Cagney (Jeremy Rodock), Don Dubbins (Steve Miller), Stephen McNally (McNulty), Irene Papas (Jocasta Constantine), Vic Morrow (Lars Peterson), James Griffith (Barjak)
Similar movies  Related Robert Wise movies

Tribute to a Bad Man is a 1956 western film starring James Cagney about a rancher whose harsh enforcement of frontier justice alienates the woman he loves. It was directed by Robert Wise and based on the short story "Hanging's for the Lucky" by Jack Schaefer, the author of Shane.


Tribute to a Bad Man movie scenes



Rustlers rob horses belonging to wealthy Wyoming rancher Jeremy Rodock and shoot him. He is found by young cowboy Steve Miller, who digs out the bullet, saves Rodock's life and is offered a job at the ranch.

Tribute to a Bad Man Wikipedia

Rodock believes in lynching rustlers personally without arrest or trial. His wrangler McNulty describes it as "a hanging sickness" to Rodock's woman, Jocasta Constantine, a former dance-hall girl ashamed of her past.

Tribute to a Bad Man

McNulty makes a pass at Jo. A jealous and suspicious Rodock sees them leave a barn together and jumps to the wrong conclusion. He fires McNulty, then beats him viciously before ordering him off the ranch.

AFI Robert Wise Tribute to a Bad Man

Rodock sets out to find the men who stole his stock and murdered Whitey, a ranch hand. He rides to former partner Peterson's spread and demands to know if Peterson and son Lars were involved. They deny it, but Rodock soon comes to believe that Peterson and partners Hearn and Barjak are the thieves. He kills Peterson and hangs Hearn.

Nostalgipalatset TRIBUTE TO A BAD MAN 1956

Lars vows to avenge his father. He joins up with McNulty and Barjak and plan to steal every horse Rodock owns. Steve is sickened by watching a man hang and Jo urges him to speak with Rodock about his vigilante ways. Steve has fallen in love with her and begs her to leave with him, but she will not.

Tribute To A Bad Man movie posters at movie poster warehouse

Valuable horses are stolen and McNulty files down the hoofs into bloody stumps. Rodock catches up to the three thieves, makes them dismount and remove their boots. At gunpoint, he forces them to walk to jail through sand, rock and cactus. Barjak ultimately passes out and McNulty begs for mercy.

Tribute to a Bad Man Photos Tribute to a Bad Man Images Ravepad

Rodock comes to his senses. He lets the other rustlers go and returns Lars to the Peterson ranch, where he offers to make restitution. Upon returning home, he finds that Steve is leaving forever and taking Jo with him. Rodock can't blame either, but when he rides out to bring her some jewelry she left behind, Jo has a change of heart and stays with Rodock after all.


Tribute to a Bad Man Great Western Movies
  • James Cagney as Jeremy Rodock
  • Don Dubbins as Steve Millar
  • Stephen McNally as McNulty
  • Irene Papas as Jocasta Constantine
  • Vic Morrow as Lars Peterson
  • James Griffith as Barjak
  • Onslow Stevens as Hearn
  • James Bell as L.A. Peterson
  • Jeanette Nolan as Mrs. Peterson
  • Lee Van Cleef as Fat Jones
  • Production

    Columbia Pictures loaned Robert Francis to MGM so he could appear in the movie. It is unclear what role he was supposed to play in the film, but Francis died in an airplane crash just over a week before he was to head to Wyoming to begin filming.


    According to MGM accounts the film earned $1,193,000 in the US and Canada and $849,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $1,623,000.


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