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During post civil war, southern veterans move wet to find money to rebuild their homes and are continuosly harassed.
Shortly after the Civil War, out West, suave vaudevillian Johnny Carter is displaying his sharpshooting skills during one of his shows, when he is spotted by former Confederate soldiers Bill Newton, Jeb Bassett and Scamper, who believe that Johnny is actually a Confederate colonel named Desmond. The veterans ask his help in defending them against discrimination in Coppertown, where they stand to lose their mining claims because they are Southerners. Johnny denies that he is Desmond and refuses to help. Meanwhile, Coppertown marshal Lane Travis and his deputy, Bat Laverne, are paid by an Eastern syndicate to run roughshod over the Southerners and prevent them from gaining a foothold in the copper mines. As a result, mine owner Moss Balfour refuses to hire any Southerner or smelt any ore belonging to a "Reb." Balfour's stance hurts mine owner Theodosius Roberts, because he is forced to send his ore out to be smelted and his wagon trains are always attacked. Roberts, who is Desmond's brother-in-law, receives a visit from Cavalry Lt. Ord, who is seeking Desmond for escaping from a Union prison with $20,000. Desmond's daughter Caroline, a war widow, defends Desmond although she has never met him, and strongly rebuffs Ord's attempt at kindness. Johnny, meanwhile, joins a vaudeville show which performs in Coppertown, and secretly works on behalf of his fellow plighted Southerners. Upon discovering that saloon hostess Lisa Roselle is involved in the plot against the Southerners, Johnny purposely pits himself against Travis as his rival for Lisa's affection. Jeb's outspokenness against Travis and Balfour leads to his murder, as well as his sons's, and there are no recriminations against Travis. Despite the violence, Roberts refuses to join the other frightened Southerners leaving Coppertown, and accepts Johnny's help in planning a safe route for his ore wagons. On the chosen night, Travis orders Lisa to distract Johnny, but he manages to ride out in time to protect the ore train and thwart Travis' ambush. Lisa, who has fallen in love with Johnny, lies to protect him from Travis, but Johnny still distrusts her. Lisa then breaks her contract with the Eastern syndicate, which is run by a man named Henderson, as a protest against Travis' brutality. Although Roberts' ore train successfully reaches the smelter, they are robbed of the proceeds and Johnny is framed for the crime. Ord and Caroline, who have fallen in love, beseech Johnny to admit he is Desmond and give himself up to the federal warrant so that Travis will not kill him, but Johnny refuses and implies that the money Desmond "stole" originally belonged to him. After his arrest, Johnny sends for Balfour from his jail cell, and using a quote from Abraham Lincoln, convinces him that discrimination is morally wrong. Travis' brutal murder of Balfour shortly after causes the remaining Southerners to panic, and they begin to sell their claims to Henderson. Freed from jail by Lisa, Johnny shreds the deeds and goes after Travis, who has fled with his gang. Johnny's military training proves invaluable as he directs two troops of volunteers to hunt down Travis' gang. Johnny is forced to kill Travis during a lengthy gunfight, after which the volunteers arrest the outlaws. Peace is restored to Coppertown, and after Caroline and Ord announce their engagement, Johnny and Lisa leave together for San Francisco.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 15 Nov 1950|
|Release Date:||1950||Production Date:||
A John Farrow Production
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
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Better later than never.
My mom wouldn't give me the nickle to see this film. So 50 years later, I found a disc in a bin. Not a big western fan, but have always been...
Never Looked Better
I watched this movie recently and was surprised at how well Hedy Lamarr was photographed. She is always beautiful, but some directors know how to bring out...