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Timberjack (1955)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Western | 18 February 1955 (USA)
In the late 1800s Montana, two competing logging operators clash over ownership of a logging railroad, land and timber clear-cutting rights.


Joseph Kane (as Joe Kane)


Allen Rivkin (screenplay), Dan Cushman (novel)


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Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Tim Chipman
Vera Ralston ... Lynne Tilton
David Brian ... Croft Brunner
Adolphe Menjou ... 'Sweetwater' Tilton
Hoagy Carmichael ... Jingles
Chill Wills ... Steve Riika
Jim Davis ... Poole
Howard Petrie ... 'Axe-Handle' Ole
Ian MacDonald ... Pauquette
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Punky (as Elisha Cook)
Karl 'Killer' Davis ... Red Bush (as Karl Davis)
Wally Cassell ... Veazie
Tex Terry Tex Terry ... Charlie
George Marshall George Marshall ... Fireman
The Lancers The Lancers ... Singers


Tim Shipman returns to his father's logging company only to find his father has been killed, money is owed, and Croft Brunner controls the railroad used to haul out the logs. But he learns the Government restriction on his valuable stand of timber has been lifted. Brunner wants that timber and tries to buy him out. Refusing to sell, Tim makes plans to somehow get the timber out. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Action | Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 February 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rächer vom Silbersee See more »

Filming Locations:

Hubbard Dam, Montana, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Just before he starts the hijacked train, the boom's shadow falls across Tim Chipman's back while he is removing his coat. See more »


Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
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User Reviews

A standard movie with the mix of songs, fights, drama and romance doing enough to make it watchable
22 February 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When he hears of his father's death, Tim Chipman returns to the family logging territory and company to help run it. However he walks back into a losing battle where rival logger Croft Brunner bought up the railway line and refused Chipman to remove his logs on it, forcing them to be moved the longest and costliest way; Brunner then followed this with an offer to buy Chipman out. When Chipman throws the offer back in Brunner's face he ends up dead in suspicious circumstances. With Tim taking over, Brunner hopes to get his offer accepted but Chipman Junior has no intention of giving the company to a man he suspects had a hand in his father's death.

From the opening credits alone (a hilariously corny song with some real gems in the lyrics - "hurry back, hurry back, timberjack") my hopes were not high but I decided, in the name of continuing to put off more important things, to watch it anyway. The film quickly moves into the standard patter for this type of film by running a series of songs, fistfights, romance and melodrama in a cycle that builds to an ending that more or less mixes them all together. This is hardly anything new and is typical of the "entertainment for all" ethos of similar films and it doesn't really do any aspect of it well enough to stand out or make any sort of lasting impression. The plot has an enjoyable tension between Chipman and Brunner and also produces some unspectacular but fun fight scenes; the romance aspect is badly done and reduces parts of the film to the level of poor melodrama. The songs are perky and lively but none of them stuck in my mind longer than the numbers themselves. This mix did enough to entertain me on a basic level, which was all I was really expecting it to do. The most interesting parts for me were the sections that showed the loggers in action – either up the top of a massive tree or floating logs down a river; it was fascinating to see it being done although I wouldn't watch the whole film again for that reason.

The cast is mixed but are part of the all-round entertainment value of the film. Hayden is a good screen presence in even the most average films and so he is here – just sticking out his chest and jaw and letting them do the work. Brian is a reasonable foil and, despite having less of a presence gives almost as good as he gets. Ralston is a bit bland but is good in the musical numbers; Carmichael provides a small bit of comic relief. Noir fans will probably be as surprised as I was to find Elisha Cook Jr in a tiny role hidden behind a wisp of whiskers! Overall this is a fairly average film that doesn't really excel at anything but does the usual mix of action, melodrama and music together to produce an enjoyable film. It isn't anything special but it has just about enough going for it to be a watchable 90 minutes if you are in an undemanding mood.

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