Follow TV Tropes


Film / Violent Saturday

Go To

Violent Saturday is a 1955 American Film Noir crime film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Victor Mature, Richard Egan, and Stephen McNally. The film, set in a mining town, depicts the planning of a bank robbery as the nexus in the personal lives of several townspeople.

A number of otherwise insignificant small-town stories erupt into drama when a gang of hoodlums decides to rob the local bank. A father looking for pride in his son's eyes, a timid bank manager who is a peeping tom by night, a man striving to re-win his wife's love, an Amish farmer faced with viciousness, and a proper older woman turned thief, all find themselves entangled with the bank robbers as a peaceful weekend turns violent.

Lee Marvin, Sylvia Sidney, and Ernest Borgnine appear in supporting roles.

Contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: When drunk, Boyd seems incapable remembering any man's name, including his own. He never gets a woman's name wrong, however.
  • Bank Robbery: Harper, Dill and Chapman arrive in town intending to rob the bank. The bank robbery is successful, but the getaway goes sour.
  • Bound and Gagged: Shelley and the Amish family are left bound and gagged and locked in the hayloft.
  • Car Fu: The bank robbers use their car to smash through the barn and then set it on fire in an an attempt to burn out Shelley and the Amish.
  • The Casanova: Gil Clayton is considered the leader of the 'wolf pack' in town. At the start of the film, he is having an affair with Mrs. Fairchild.
  • Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: Shelley is able to use a nail stuck in a beam to rip off his blindfold and gag.
  • Criminal Procedural: The bank robbers side of the story is entirely about the planning and execution of the bank robbery.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Shelley stages a "Die Hard in a barn" (It Makes Sense in Context), although this is only a small part of the overall story.
  • Evil Is Petty: The benzedrine addict Dill stomps on the hand of a small boy who collides with him.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film unfolds over two days; starting on Friday and ending on the evening of the eponymous Saturday.
  • Gardening-Variety Weapon. When finally provoked to violence in order to defend his family, Stadt stabs Dill in the back with a pitchfork.
  • Happily Married: Shelley and Helen Martin. Their marriage is used to contrast the rapidly disintegrating marriage of Shelley's workmate Boyd Fairchild and his wife.
  • The Peeping Tom: Harry Reeves is infatuated with Linda Sherman, and takes his dog for multiple walks late at night hoping to catch a glimpse of her undressing.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Shelley Martin is a mine supervisor on his way to pick up his son for fishing trip. The bank robbers carjack his vehicle as their getaway vehicle. Held hostage alongside an Amish family, Shelley decides that he is not going to be pushed around any more...
  • Sexy Sweater Girl: Emily claims to hate golf, and says she only plays it because she looks good in a sweater. And she does.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Shelley Martin is able to use the double-barrelled shotgun he takes off Slick to lethal effect against the rest of the gang.
  • Snooty Sports: The golf club is exclusively the province of the upper class characters; some of whom (like Emily) don't even enjoy golf.
  • Spanner in the Works: The bank robbery probably would have gone off without a hitch if the robbers had picked anyone except Shelley's car to carjack.
  • "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: Shelley Martin knows that his eldest son Stevie is ashamed of him because he did not serve in World War II. (His job as mine supervisor at a copper mine was considered vital for the war effort and he was forbidden to enlist.) He is attempting to reconnect with Stevie when he is taken hostage by the bank robbers. His need to prove himself leads to him to stage a "Die Hard" on an X, and he is instrumental in defeating the robbers. The end of the film shows that his son now regards him as a hero.
  • Would Harm a Child: Dill, the most vicious of the robbers, stomps on a small boy's hand. Later, he shoots one of the Amish children in the shoulder.