Actress Shelley Carnes goes to a dude ranch in Texas for a vacation after a strenuous run on the road playing Desdemona. She runs into a rainstorm as she’s driving towards the ranch and gets lost. She gets help from Richard Trevelyan. Until recently, her well-turned-out good Samaritan was on death row for murdering his wife. He’s only free because one juror in his appeal trial declined to convict him. Shelley falls in love with the taciturn rancher, completely convinced of his innocence. But on their wedding night, she hears details of the crime that cause her to wonder. Is Richard Trevelyan the Othello of Texas? … Among the emblems of the Texas lifestyle lovingly presented in Lightning Strikes Twice – Stetsons, BBQ, and wild horses – the rough landscape features prominently. The camera revels in the vast expanses, open spaces that at first evoke fear in Shelley. But then she is drawn into a close web of rival women who are the real source of danger. Ultimately, Vidor’s romantic thriller bears a greater resemblance to a melodrama than to a film noir.
by King Vidor
with Ruth Roman, Richard Todd, Mercedes McCambridge, Zachary Scott, Frank Conroy, Kathryn Givney, Rhys Williams, Darryl Hickman, Nacho Galindo, Franklin Parker
USA 1951 English 91’ Black/White


  • Ruth Roman
  • Richard Todd
  • Mercedes McCambridge
  • Zachary Scott
  • Frank Conroy
  • Kathryn Givney
  • Rhys Williams
  • Darryl Hickman
  • Nacho Galindo
  • Franklin Parker


Director King Vidor
Screenplay Lenore Coffee
Dialogue Felix Jacoves
Story Margaret Echard A Man Without Friends (1940)
Cinematography Sid Hickox
Editing Thomas Reilly
Music Max Steiner
Sound Charles Lang Jr.
Art Director Douglas Bacon
Costumes Leah Rhodes
Assistant Director Frank Mattison
Henry Blanke

Produced by

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. (A Warner Bros.–First National Picture)

Additional information

Print: British Film Institute, London