Violent Saturday

This time I'm going to brag. This movie is caught up in some sort of litigation and is NOT available for rentals, or for libraries. Because I participate in a blog-type website for residents of Bisbee, Arizona, one of the fellows from my high school class tipped me off on how to get a copy of this movie, which was shot in our hometown in 1955.

"Violent Saturday" takes place in Bradenville, a Southwestern mining town and starts with the daily blast in the Fairchild Copper open pit mine. They filmed what to us, was a daily occurrence. Of course, we didn't have Victor Mature ("The Robe" and "Sampson and Delilah") overseeing it, with the mine owner's drunkard son, played by Richard Egan ("A Summer Place") as a half-hearted participant. Mature's grade-school son gets in a fist fight with a classmate because the friend's father was a decorated war hero (WWII), while Mature had to continue working for the war effort by managing the copper mine, which was considered an essential industry.

Three bank robbers, played by Stephen McNally ("Battle Zone"), J Carrol Naish ("Rage at Dawn") and Lee Marvin ("The Dirty Dozen" and "Cat Ballou") are convening in town after scoping out a nearby Amish farm to ascertain if it has a telephone or any other means of outside communication. It doesn't. The Amish father is played by Ernest Borgnine ("Marty" and "Johnny Guitar") and the mother by Sylvia Sydney ("Mars Attacks").

The robbers intend to close the bank curtains, lock the doors early, and take advantage of the automatically timed bank vault which will open just before closing time at noon on Saturday, holding any customers at gun point while they empty the safe. They will steal a car and head out to the Amish farm where they have arranged to meet an accomplice who will be driving a truckload of baled hay. They will hide the loot in the hay and take off in the truck.

They steal Victor Mature's car and take him hostage, along with the Amish family as soon as they reach the farm. Borgnine councils Mature against using violence, that "The Lord will protect us." This conviction is put to the test as things heat up.

Of course there are secondary plots to enrich the script, plenty of scenic shots and, to us locals, a laughably garbled local geography.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this DVD and agree with Leonard Maltin who gives it three (out of four) stars. I obtained it through http://www.movielead.com/ but it wasn't cheap! The fellow gave me permission to pass it on to you...