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Bronco Buster

Bronco Buster(1952)

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Rodeo clown Dan Bream and his daughter Judy are delighted to see Tom Moody when he re-joins the show after a year in Mexico. Laconic Tom reveals little to Judy, his girl friend, except that he has a broken ankle but will still be competing that day. Later, Tom is surprised to discover that he has a romantic rival for Judy's attention in young rodeo rider Bart Eaton. During the show, Tom congratulates Bart on his skillful riding and offers him advice, which Bart spurns. After he discvoers that Tom is the previous year's world rodeo champion, however, Bart apologizes. He later learns from Dan that his new competitor used to have a hot temper but slowly matured into a controlled, self-assured man. Days later, Bart admits to Tom that he was his inspiration to be a champion rodeo rider, and Tom, who feels that the two can learn from each other, agrees to act as mentor to the younger man. Bart improves as he practices, and when the rodeo hits Phoenix, he beats up rider Dobie Carson after overhearing his jealous insults. Downplaying Bart's youthful hotheadedness, Tom introduces him to the close group of established riders. He helps Bart throughout the rodeo, and as a result, Bart wins third place, after Tom and Dobie. At the awards ceremony that evening, Bart shows up in a fancy cowboy outfit and brags to the TV reporter that he will be the year's champ. The rodeo continues to travel, and at the campfire one night, Bart watches Judy cuddle with Tom. What he does not know, however, is that Judy is asking Tom when they will be married and is hurt by his flippant response. At the next rodeo, Bart dresses showily and plays to the crowd. Tom performs outstandingly, but when it is Bart's turn to ride a bucking bronco, he falls from the horse and injures his leg. He refuses to rest for long, however, and returns to the rodeo to the crowd's cheers. That night, Tom visits Bart to try to persuade him to attend a rodeo meeting and, while rebuking him for showboating, sees a pile of discarded bandages and realizes that Bart faked the injury to win the admiration of the fans. Disgusted, Tom punches Bart, who then asks Judy on a date. Hoping to prove to Tom that she will not wait forever, Judy agrees. At dinner, Bart offers her a lifetime of adventure, and when they return to the campsite, she kisses him in front of Tom. Over the following weeks, Bart grows increasingly insufferable. The local riders at the Calgary rodeo finally are fed up with his arrogance and trick him into riding the hay press, which drags him along the ground until he is bruised and battered. Although he claims to have been beaten up by cowboys, the rest of the riders recognize the Calgary boys's trick. During the next rodeo, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, an overconfident Bart attempts to join Dan in his clowning routine, causing Dan to be trampled by a bull. The whole outfit spurns Bart, and Tom warns him never to speak to him again. Dan, whose condition is critical, calls Bart to his hospital bed and informs him that although he is a first-rate rodeo rider, a real winner does not have to antagonize others and promote his own talent. Bart, chastised, asks for a second chance, and Dan urges him to announce his contrition to the riders. By the time Bart locates Tom, however, the older man is drunk and belligerent and bets him $1,000 that he can stay on a bronc longer than Bart. Minutes later, Judy hears about the bet and races to the rodeo grounds with the rest of the riders. There, Bart wins the contest but is about to be gored by a bull when Tom jumps into the pen and saves him. Outside the pen, Bart refuses to take Tom's money and instead apologizes for his past behavior. After they shake hands, Judy announces that she and Tom are engaged, and a surprised Tom embraces her.