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Sagebrush Law

Sagebrush Law(1943)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Summoned by his father, John, whom he has not seen in six years, Tom Weston bids farewell to his ranch and rides to the town of Pinto Basin, where his father runs the local bank. Tom rides into town just as the banker's body is found shot, slumped over his desk. When the doctor pronounces John's death a suicide, the sheriff calls for an audit of the bank's books. Although Martin Carter, John's partner, assures the investors that their money is safe, the local townsfolk begin to question John's motive for suicide. Unknown to the depositors, Carter and his henchman, Sam Landers, have stolen the bank deposits and doctored the books to frame John. When Mr. Winters, the hotel owner, tries to calm the crowd forming at the bank, a troublemaker slugs him, sparking a fistfight. After Tom and his partner Ike intervene to stop the brawl, Winters and his daughter Sally offer the two the hospitality of their hotel. At the hotel, Tom confides that he is John's son and voices doubts that his father committed suicide because he was left-handed but was found holding the gun in his right hand. Entreating the Winterses to keep his secret, Tom goes to search his father's rooms, but is too late because Landers has already removed John's copy of the bank ledger. Landers then turns the ledger over to Carter, who tosses it into the fire. When a picture of Tom drops out of the book, Carter realizes that the cowboy is John's son. The next day, after examining the doctored books, Roberts, the bank examiner, announces that John embezzled $50,000 of bank funds. When Carter announces that Tom is John's son, the angry depositors accuse him of being involved in the disappearance of their money, prompting Ike and Tom to flee town with the depositors in pursuit. After losing their pursuers, Ike and Tom find a wounded man lying on the trail. When the injured man identifies himself as bank examiner Bill Lanning, Tom realizes that Roberts is an impostor. Tom takes Lanning into town, but when he arrives at Doc Crandall's office, the doctor is out. Tom sends a boy to fetch the doctor while he goes for the sheriff. Mistrustful of Tom, the sheriff locks him up before investigating his story. Meanwhile, Carter's thugs have intercepted Tom's messenger, and after Lanning dies, they remove his body from the doctor's office. When the sheriff arrives at Doc Crandall's, he finds no trace of Lanning and assumes that Tom is lying. In the sheriff's absence, Ike disguises himself as a deputy and breaks Tom out of jail. Upon learning that Roberts has departed on the last stagecoach, Tom asks Winters to assemble the townsfolk who believe in his innocence while he retrieves Roberts. At the hotel, as Winters lectures the townspeople about their disloyalty to John, Tom returns with the phony bank examiner. When Roberts confesses that Landers and Carter are responsible for the missing bank funds, Tom enlists the sheriff and townsfolk to help unmask his father's murderer. Meanwhile, at the saloon, Carter, Landers and their henchmen are playing cards when the sheriff and the others arrive. After the sheriff announces that Tom can identify his father's killer, a brick with an attached note from Tom threatening revenge on his father's murderer flies through the window. Tom's threat is about to scare a confession from one of Carter's thugs when Carter pulls a gun on the man and shoots him. He and Landers then run out of the back door of the saloon, empty the bank safe and hijack the stage. Tom gallops after them, and after catching up to the stage, apprehends Carter and Landers. With his father's name exonerated, Tom and Ike return to their ranch.