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Western films, from silent to today

Stranger at My Door (1956)

Stranger at My Door (1956) posterSkip Homeier plays Clay Anderson, leader of an outlaw gang who flees after a bank robbery and stumbles upon the home of a backwoods preacher (Macdonald Carey as Hollis Jarret).

He lies about his identity to the preacher’s son (Stephen Wootten) and his pretty wife (Patricia Medina as Peg). But Jarret isn’t fooled; he quickly suspects the young man was part of the holdup gang. He knows it when Anderson tries to steal one of his horses.

Caught in the act, with a posse roaming the countryside, Anderson decides a preacher’s home might not be a bad place to hide from the law after all.

That’s fine with the preacher isn’t fooled; he welcomes the chance to bring the outlaw closer to God.

But there’s a chance this stranger might lure the preacher’s much younger wife and son closer to the devil instead.

Review:

Well done B Western with Carey turning in probably his best performance in the genre and Homeier making the most of a role much larger than he normally enjoyed.

Sure, the ending becomes a bit too melodramatic and Medina’s performance is full of hysteria, but the film also includes one of the wildest horse taming sequences you’ll find in a Western.

Carey would eventually enjoy stardom as Dr. Tom Norton on the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives;” he played the role for three decades.

Wootton, his son here, appeared in several movies and on a number of TV shows before leaving acting in the early 1960s. He later enjoyed a career in insurance and management.

Macdonald Carey as Hollis Jarret and Patricia Medina as Peg Jarret in Stranger at My Door (1956)Directed by:
William Whitney

Cast:
Macdonald Carey … Hollis Jarret
Patricia Medina … Peg Jarret
Skip Homeier … Clay Anderson
Stephen Wootton … “Dodie” Jarret
Louis Jean Heydt … Sheriff Tatum
Howard Wright … “Doc” Parks
Slim Pickens … Ben Silas
Fred Sherman … Mr. Winslow
Malcolm Atterbury … Rev. Hastings

Runtime: 85 min.

Memorable lines:

Hollis Jarret to Clay Anderson: “You don’t have to threaten me. I’m glad you’ve decided to stay with us. It isn’t every day a preacher gets a chance to save the soul of an all-fired big sinner like Clay Anderson.”

Peg Jarret: “I love my husband.”
Clay Anderson: “How do you know if you never tried anything different?”

Macdonald Carey as Hollis Jarret with Stephen Wootton as Dodie Jarret, Patricia Medina as Peg Jarret and Skip Homeier as Clay Anderson in Stranger at My Door (1956)Rev. Jarret: “I see you have no objection to working on a church.”
Clay Anderson: “Seems to be made out of the same material as any other building. Besides I need the exercise. You never can tell when I might have to leave here in a hurry.”

Rev. Jarret: “Don’t you believe in salvation?”
Clay: “Yeah. I suppose it’s different for everybody. For a lot of people, it’s going to be this church we’re building. All the prayers and repentances and trimmings that go with it. For me, salvation is a clean pistol and a good horse. Cheer up, preacher. It’s not your fault. You did a bang-up job of trying.”

Peg Jarret, of her husband: “You’re making a fool of him.”
Clay Anderson: “No. A man has to do that by himself.”

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