Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Man Without a Star (1955)


Starring: Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor and William Campbell
Distributor: Eureka Entertainment
RRP: £19.99


Certificate: PG
Release Date: 15 August 2022

Man Without a Star, King Vidor’s classic 1955 action-packed Western starring Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain and Claire Trevor, is released via Eureka Entertainment on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. The movie follows a wandering cowboy who becomes embroiled in a bloody dispute between rival ranchers. Train-hopping his way to Wyoming, nomadic cowboy Dempsey Rae (Douglas) saves the life of young Jeff Jimson (William Campbell). Taking Jeff on as his protégé, Dempsey teaches him the life of a cowhand; how to ride a horse, rope and herd cattle, and how to shoot... Despite the land they work on being open range, Dempsey is horrified to find the local ranchers are resorting to the usage of barbed wire and refuses to work for anyone who uses it. But when an unscrupulous ranch owner hires a brutal group of killers to push the other ranchers off the land, Dempsey is the only one who can help them fight back...

Man Without a Star is a western movie that was based on Dee Linford's 1952 novel of the same name. Kirk Douglas plays the part of travelling cowboy Dempsey Rae in a role that could almost have been written with him in mind.

At the time, it's said that Douglas didn't rate the film too highly, seeing it as a throwaway role that wouldn't be remembered as one of his better films. It was shot in a relatively short time and it's impressive to note how polished the cinematography looks.

Extras include an audio commentary with Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw; Neil Sinyard on Man Without a Star (18 min, 04 sec interview with film scholar Sinyard); and Trailer (59 sec). It also comes with a collector’s booklet featuring a new essay on the film by film writer Rich Johnson, and a new piece by critic Richard Combs about the Western films of King Vidor.

While pretty much a run-of-the-mill western it's stood the test of time remarkably well and still ticks all the right boxes. Another classic release from Eureka's Masters of Cinema label.


Nick Smithson

Buy this item online