Violent Saturday (1955) What! Film Noir in Technicolour? Plus Victor Mature Movies?

Violent Saturday (1955) 20th century fox film poster cinemascope de luze colour getty image

I know there must be hundreds of noir thrillers in colour but still it felt weird not having the smokey dark backlit, black and white photography that goes so well with the genre. The thing that hits you right from the start of Violent Saturday is the simply gorgeous colour print. I read that at the time of filming it was one of the cheapest movies made using the CinemaScope wide-angle lens and the De Luxe colour print, it really shows. The photography brings out the beautiful deep bright hues in abundance.  I wasn’t expecting it, as all I had seen before hand was black and white stills from the picture.

Violent Saturday (1955) opening title scene mining background victor matureViolent Saturday (1955) bank of bradenville robbery stake out bank job

Basic outline of plot goes as this. Three dodgy looking men arrive in the small mining town of Bradenville with their eye on the local bank. Harper (Stephen McNally) is the charismatic leader, Dill (Lee Marvin) is the younger drug snorting addict with psychotic tendencies and Chapman (J Carrol Naish) is the almost lovable experienced older figure. The three hang around town staking out the joint.

Violent Saturday (1955) lee marvin J Carrol Naish Stephen McNally band jobViolent Saturday (1955) lee marvin inhaler train J Carrol Naish

During this time we see small stories appear from different residents of the town, all with differing troubles within their lives. Shelley Martin (Victor Mature) a good honest man but wishes for his son to be proud of him. There’s Boyd Fairchild (Richard Egan) and Emily Fairchild (Margaret Hayes) struggling with their marriage. There’s a beautiful nurse who’s on everyone’s minds called Linda Sherman (Virginia Leith) plus broke librarian Elsie (Sylvia Sidney).

Violent Saturday (1955) mining background victor mature Richard EganViolent Saturday (1955) Margaret Hayes Virginia Leith

Then to really mix things right up you get a peeping tom stalker in the form of the bank manager (Tommy Noonan) and saving the best to last, I was so happy when I worked out who the big framed man with large beard was, it’s was none other than Ernest Borgnine playing an Amish Farmer, I kid you not.

Violent Saturday (1955) Virginia Leith undressing being peeping tom watched by Tommy NoonanViolent Saturday (1955) Virginia Leith undressing beeing peeping tom watchedViolent Saturday (1955) armish ernest borgnine Stephen McNally band job

Director Richard Fleischer who made 10 Rillington Place, Soylent Green and the Bronson smasher Mr Majestyk to name just a few, works his magic perfectly in this film. Slowly edging the drama to it’s big finale and brings the V in the violent to a crashing crescendo. When it hits, it hits hard.

Taglines – The day all Hell broke loose….

Violent Saturday (1955) lee marvin J Carrol Naish Stephen McNally band job 2

I read a few critics at the time noted the extreme violence and undercurrent sexy vibe going on. In today’s standards it’s not that bad but it’s undeniably powerful and still packs quite the punch I felt. If you haven’t seen it before I really rated it. Or if you’ve seen it, what were your thoughts on the movie?

Violent Saturday (1955) victor mature and diana dors frank sinatra records vinyl ella fitzgerald

Victor Mature with Diana Dors

I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen Victor Mature before in a film or at least I hadn’t realised it was him. He was most excellent in Violent Saturday, is there any films of his I should look out for? Please feel free to let me know.

Thanks for popping on by. Keep on having fun finding new films to watch. Catch you soon. Mikey Wolfman.

16 thoughts on “Violent Saturday (1955) What! Film Noir in Technicolour? Plus Victor Mature Movies?

  1. Look for Victor Mature in the (black and white) noirs “I Wake Up Screaming” and “Kiss of Death”, and as Doc Holliday in John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine”. And of course, opposite heavenly Hedy Lamarr in C.B. DeMille’s Biblical epic “Samson & Delilah”!

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  2. What two most excellent title names “I Wake Up Screaming” and “Kiss of death” nice one Gary for the Knowledge. Both will watched soon. Just looked up Hedy Lamarr, for research purposes I must add 😉 oh my days what a beauty. Many thanks for the tips. Much appreciated. Really enjoyed his performance in Violent Saturday and I want to see more.

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  3. Amazing cast here and love the fact that Ernie and Lee went on to do a number of films together both as youngsters and as legendary stars. Bad Day at Black Rock a must with them and the of course Dirty Dozen and Emperor of the North.
    Richard Fleischer autobiography a great read and takes the books title from working with Sylvia Sidney’s comment to him, “Just tell me when to cry.”
    The afore mentioned Mature films are a must and add to it one I discovered earlier this year, The Long Haul. Very much like Hell Drivers. Also a must see is his lampooning his image opposite Peter Sellers in After the Fox.https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2015/01/30/after-the-fox-1966/
    McNally also an actor I like from this time period. Plenty of worthy titles to catch with him as well. Makes for a good bad guy more often than not.
    Nice pick to feature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome knowledge on all points Mike. Thank you. Oh yes I didn’t think about the Ernie and Lee connection but yes “Bad Day At Black Rock” and “Dirty Dozen” too Of course. I don’t know “Emperor of the North”. Off for a look.
      What a great line from Sylvia Sidney. I bet Fleischer book is ace, he made so many great movies.
      “The Long Haul” is going straight on the list too. Arr so this is the Diana Dors film, I had wondered which one they had starred together in. Loved “Hell Drivers”
      I’m sure you suggested “After The Fox” before Didn’t realise Victor was in that with Sellers too. I need to up my game, too many films to see.
      I caught Stephen McNally with Burt Lancaster in “Criss Cross” a few weeks back. Looking forward to seeing more of him too as he was excellent in Violent Saturday.
      Super comment buddy. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I just saved myself a copy of Violent Saturday from YouTube, so hopefully I’ll be watching and reviewing it soon. I’d forgotten it was directed by Richard Fleischer, who not only directed two cool noirs you mentioned to me earlier (Follow Me Quietly and Armored Car Robbery), but another that you MUST see: The Narrow Margin. Top-notch filmmaking all the way! And I agree with Gary above: Kiss of Death and I Wake Up Screaming are well worth a look, and the latter features one of my favorites, Carole Landis. And what a neat pic of Mature and Dors!

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    • Well you said you were late, with a month the other day, so how about me being two and a half years late!
      I’m just doing a Victor Mature review and went to link this one and noticed to my shame I’d not replied…
      Sorry about that Todd but in a good way I wonder if you managed to see Violent Saturday since then? I’m still waiting the review hehe.
      From your comment I can say I’ve seen Kiss Of Death and I Wake Up Screaming and of course that awesome recommend of yours, The Narrow Margin, which I’ve watched twice.
      PS “And what a neat pic of Mature and Dors!” that’s the film I’m reviewing now.

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      • Ha, now I don’t feel so bad! Don’t sweat it…responding in two years is better than responding in NO years!

        And yes, I’ve seen Violent Saturday, but as you noticed…no review, but that’s no surprise! I liked the movie, though…and I loved that town, which I discovered later is located right here in Arizona, in Bisbee. I wonder if it looks the same, or if it’s unrecognizable by now. Probably the latter, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes so true, the town looked great. You gotta one day have a trip and take a look. Let me know in two or so years. hehe.
          One of my favourite comics, Doug Stanhope, lives in Bisbee.
          He’s got his very own quirky multicolored podcast studio, comic hang and just general booze fired up party home/compound there.
          He came to Bournemouth once, to honest I still can’t believe it.

          Liked by 1 person

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