The Law and Jake Wade

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The Law and Jake Wade
Lawandjakewade poster.jpg
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed by John Sturges
Written by Marvin H. Albert (novel)
Screenplay by William Bowers
Produced by William Hawks
Starring Robert Taylor
Richard Widmark
Patricia Owens
Robert Middleton
Henry Silva
DeForest Kelley
Burt Douglas
Eddie Firestone
Rory Mallinson
Roy Engle
Richard Cutting
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Edited by Ferris Webster
Music by Fred Steiner
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • June 6, 1958 (1958-06-06)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1,538,000 [1]
Box office$2,795,000 [1]

The Law and Jake Wade is a 1958 American Western film directed by John Sturges and starring Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark. The picture was based on the 1956 novel by Marvin H. Albert. The film was shot on location in California's High Sierra mountain range, Lone Pine, and Death Valley in Metrocolor by MGM and in CinemaScope. This film was Robert Taylor's last A-picture as the top-billed lead.



Reformed criminal Jake Wade breaks his former partner, Clint Hollister, out of jail in the small western town of Morganville. The men have not seen each other since the bank robbery and murder that resulted in Wade's arrest. Wade refuses to tell Hollister where he has hidden the $20,000 from the robbery and advises him to leave the territory. Wade returns to Cold Stream, where he serves as marshal. Hollister and his men catch up with Wade, kidnap his wife Peggy, and demand that Wade take him to the buried money.

The next morning, they begin a long trek into the desert, during which Peggy learns the full extent of her husband's criminal background. After several adventures, the group arrives at a ghost town, where Wade reveals he has hidden the money. When Wade spots Indian scouts in the area, the group takes shelter in a deserted saloon. Wade is tied to a chair while Hollister goes in search of the natives. As night falls, several calls are heard outside and Wade tells the men they are surrounded by Indians who will attack soon.

After Hollister returns the next morning, the natives attack and a vicious fight breaks out. During the fight, Peggy frees her husband and they attempt to escape, but Hollister catches them. After burying the dead, Wade reveals the money is buried three feet deep in the cemetery, inside a saddlebag. Wade digs up the saddlebag, then surprises Hollister by pulling out a pistol from it. The others surrender their guns. Wade then asks Hollister's man Ortero to take Peggy away and they ride out of town. Wade and Hollister confront each other in the street and Wade kills Hollister. Hearing the gunshots, Peggy and Ortero return for Wade.


Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $970,000 in the US and Canada and $1,825,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $87,000. [1]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.