6.1/10
219
7 user 5 critic

A Covenant with Death (1967)

A convicted murderer kills his hangman. Then it is discovered that he actually didn't commit the murder he was convicted for.

Director:

Lamont Johnson

Writers:

Stephen Becker (novel), Saul Levitt | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Maharis ... Ben Lewis
Laura Devon ... Rosemary
Katy Jurado ... Eulalia Lewis
Earl Holliman ... Brian Talbot
Arthur O'Connell ... Judge Hockstadter
Sidney Blackmer ... Col. Oates
Gene Hackman ... Harmsworth
John Anderson ... Dietrich
Wende Wagner ... Rafaela Montemayor
Emilio Fernández ... Igancio
Kent Smith ... Parmalee
Lonny Chapman ... Musgrave
Jose De Vega ... Digby
Larry D. Mann ... Chillingworth
Whit Bissell ... Bruce Donnelly
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Storyline

A handsome Latino judge in a USA border town in the 1920s navigates two different cultures, not quite fitting into either, while trying to woo two different women in unconventional ways for either culture, to oversee an execution and, later, to officiate a murder trial.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Never talk too big. Never beat your wife. One night she could get strangled. And who would believe the hands weren't yours? See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 January 1969 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Un pacto con la muerte See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In conversation, a town member talks about the "Blackfeet" native Americans. Digby (Jose de Vega) corrects him indicating that Blackfoot is both singular and plural. However, several sources approve either Blackfoot or Blackfeet as plural, q.v. official web site for the Blackfeet Nation. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not very good
17 September 2016 | by mrsmithgoesSee all my reviews

If it weren't for the fact that the idea behind this story is interesting, I would have rated it even lower. I haven't read the book, but it gets good reviews. The first several pages of the book in the free preview on Amazon did not feel like it described the same place or people as I saw in this film. The book also doesn't have any music like that in the movie. I think that's a good thing. Much of the music in the movie is forgettable at best, annoying at times.

In this movie there are too many excursions from the main theme, and Maharis isn't good enough to make those non-essential scenes believable or interesting. His scenes with his mother (Katy Jurado), as well as with Rosemary (Laura Devon), seem like mostly filler for a 1 hour 37 minute movie that could/should have been shorter. Katy Jurado was much better in "High Noon". Here she is okay, maybe trying at times a bit too hard to save scenes where Maharis isn't good enough. Devon's scenes -- both in number and length -- feel stretched to keep the movie long enough.

In other words, if you take just the legal and philosophical issues and work them into a television screenplay, this might have worked better as a 1 hour television episode of ... pick your favorite old legal show -- Perry Mason?. It also might have worked as a science fiction story on "Twilight Zone", where often difficult moral issues are faced head on -- such as the one about the robot that is accused of murder.

This movie does feature a couple of attractive actresses (Laura Devon and Wende Wagner), as well as an early-career performance by Gene Hackman and a good effort by Earl Holliman. As I said the main subject matter is interesting too. But don't be surprised if most of this movie doesn't keep your interest.


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