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The Lonely Man

The Lonely Man(1957)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Outlaw King Fisher is so intent on killing gunfighter Jacob Wade that he constantly polishes the bullet Jacob lamed him with six months earlier. Meanwhile, Jacob has gone in search of his estranged son Riley, but Riley does not recognize his father when he finds him at the Red Bluff Saloon and buys him a drink. Asked about his mother Ruth, Riley takes Jacob to the cliff from which she committed suicide five years earlier, after being ostracized by the townspeople because of her association with the gunfighter. Though Riley despises his father, he agrees to leave the family's rundown ranch and go on the trail with him, hoping to be a constant reminder to Jacob of his dead wife. After setting the ranch afire, the two ride back into Red Bluff, where Jacob tries to buy a livery stable for Riley from MacGregor, a Scottish blacksmith, only to be run out of town by Judge Hart, the territorial magistrate, and his associates. Unwelcome in any of the other nearby towns, the two are forced to sleep in the desert, but when Riley becomes ill due to exposure, Jacob takes him to Monolith and the ranch of Ada Marshall, Jacob's one-time flame. Though Ada attempts to rekindle her relationship with the gunfighter, arguing that her ranch is really his, Jacob insists that he gave her the ranch and his return there is due merely to Riley's poor health. They are soon joined at the ranch by Ben Ryerson, a member of Jacob's old gang currently on the run from the law, who Ada quickly offers to make her ranch foreman. Once recovered, Riley tries to leave the ranch in the middle of the night, only to be stopped by Ada. Later, while riding in Echo Canyon, Jacob, Riley, Ben and Ada come across a white mustang, which eludes their capture with a daring jump. The four secure another horse, and while breaking the animal, Jacob experiences a moment of blindness. Afterward, a shaken Jacob confronts Riley, stating that he plans to make a man out of his son or kill him. Questioned by Ada, Jacob admits that he is going blind, but insists that she not tell Riley of his condition. Later, Blackburn and his outlaw gang arrive at the ranch, demanding that their old boss provide them with fresh horses, but Jacob refuses, as he knows he will be blamed for their future criminal acts because the horses are marked with his brand. Despite being outgunned seven to two, Jacob and Ben take on their old friends, killing two, including Blackburn, in a shootout. Back at King's hideout, Willie tells his boss that he has found Jacob in Monolith. Unaware that King is headed his way, an unsuspecting Jacob attempts to round up a herd of wild horses, only to have the horses escape when Riley and Ben get into a fight over Ruth. Jacob orders his friend to leave, but before he goes, Ben tells Riley that Jacob did not abandon his mother, as his father only became a gunfighter after killing a Red Bluff sheriff in self-defense while watering his cattle during a drought. Forced to leave the territory in order to avoid the hangman, Jacob begged Ruth to go with him, but she refused to leave the comforts of their home. Soon after leaving the ranch, Ben is killed in an ambush by King and his men. After Riley disappears as well, Jacob and Ada search for the young man, and she finds him in Echo Canyon, where he was injured while roping the white mustang. When he regains consciousness, Riley and Ada exchange a long, passionate kiss. Back in Red Bluff, King and his men make their new headquarters in his closed-down saloon. They quickly capture Ada, who offers to go back to work for King, running the saloon and being his girl, if he agrees to leave Jacob alone. Instead, King boasts to her that he killed Ben and plans the same fate for Jacob. Back at the ranch, Ada pleads with Jacob not to fall for King's trap, but the gunfighter rides into town anyway. Finally told of his father's impending blindness, Riley follows Jacob and arrives at the saloon just as the shootout begins. With Riley's help, Jacob manages to shoot Faro, Willie and Lon, and with all his men dead, King sneaks out the back door of the saloon. Hiding behind a balcony across the street, King shoots Jacob as he walks out of the saloon. Despite his blindness, Jacob returns fire and, guided by Riley's words, kills King. Jacob then collapses and dies himself, in the arms of his son.