powered by AFI
Flashbacks reveal how a posse after stolen money returned empty handed.
An exhausted posse returns to the New Mexico town of Roswell two days after their departure, with aging, has-been Sheriff John Frazier gravely wounded. Judge Parker meets the posse and learns from newspaper editor Robert Emerson that the three men sought by the posse were killed, as was wealthy rancher Sampson Drune. Emerson also admits that the posse was unsuccessful in locating the money the three men stole. When a stranger asks traveling salesman Mr. Stokely about the posse, he relates the following story: Two days earlier, on Roswell's Founder's Day celebration, several townspeople remark on John's absence and speculate it is due to his habitual drunkenness. Stokely finds John sober, working quietly in his office, and invites him to the bar, where Will Romer, his brother George and son Art witness Drune conclude a major cattle deal. Bitter about the loss of their cattle the year before to Drune, who they believe cheated them, the Romers start a fight with Drune's young ward and foreman, Jed Clayton. Drune intervenes, then berates John for his inaction, causing Stokely to ask what is behind the animosity between the men. John states that Drune intentionally ruined the Romers. Later, Drune picks up a large amount of money at the hotel, and outside of the bank, Emerson and the city leaders ask Drune if he will consider investing part of the money in Roswell businesses, but he flatly refuses. Inside the bank, which has been opened privately for Drune on the town holiday, the Romers lie in wait and, seizing the money, flee. Jed gives chase in a wagon, which breaks down at the river outside town. Back in town, Drune organizes a posse and demands that the now drunken John deputize them. Emerson and the Citizen Committee demand to go along and Drune grudgingly agrees. Back in the present, Stokely concludes his explanation, then in the hotel lobby, Jed listens as Emerson recounts to various townspeople what occurred after the posse left Roswell: Drune divides the posse up and with Emerson's party, heads toward the Mexican border. Soon after, John, although ailing, catches up with them and by evening has recovered. After night falls, Drune and Jed try to abandon the posse, but John anticipates this and prevents them from going. The next day the posse is abruptly caught in a violent windstorm, which John guides them through. When the men dig themselves out after the storm dies down, they discover Drune and Jed missing and the pack mule with all their supplies gone. John tells the men that Drune took the pack mule to force them to turn back, but when Emerson expresses doubt, John reveals that Drune intends to kill the Romers because fifteen years earlier they witnessed Drune kill Jed's father, but have been terrified to testify against Drune. He adds that he cannot prove the murder and that Jed knows nothing about Drune's action as John has intentionally waited all these years for the proper moment to tell him. The men hasten after Drune with John riding ahead. When John finds Drune, the cattleman viciously attacks him, but John restores order as the others arrive. Then Drune spots the Romers ahead. In the present, Emerson concludes his explanations, claiming that the posse then cornered the Romers in a dead-end canyon and when they resisted, killed them after they shot Drune. Upstairs in a hotel room, John lies unconscious, and Emerson and the others make inquiries with the doctor, who is pessimistic about John's survival. As the men return downstairs to make statements to Judge Parker, Jed expresses anger and confusion, but one of the men insists he stick with the statement that they had agreed upon earlier. In his room John awakens abruptly and finds Stokely, who tells him the others are about to make their statements that the Romers killed Drune and before dying he made an oral will leaving everything to Jed. John sends Stokely for the doctor, then rises painfully and dresses and descends to the hotel lobby just as Jed is about to testify. John sits and after a moment's hesitation, Jed reveals that he killed Drune, then describes what happened after the posse found the Romers: Cornered, the Romers escape on foot up the steep mountainside, with Drune, Jed and John in pursuit. John pleads with the Romers to surrender and after George accidentally falls to his death, Will agrees. Just as Will and Art descend to John and turn over the satchel of money, Drune appears and shoots the Romers, which stuns Jed. John then reveals the truth to Jed about his father, Drune and the Romers. Drune attempts to shoot John, but Jed intervenes. John is still shot twice before Jed shoots Drune. When Emerson and the men arrive, Emerson suggests that they take the money and Jed can have Drune's property. In the present, Judge Parker praises Jed for his courageous confession and informs Emerson and the others that they will be prosecuted. When the judge turns to thank John, however, they discover that he is dead.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1953||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Duration(mins):||71 or 73||Country:||United States|
Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE RATING
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:
User Ratings & Review
This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >
User Ratings & Review