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Go West, Young Lady

Go West, Young Lady(1941)

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The town of Headstone eagerly awaits the arrival of their new sheriff, hoping that he will vanquish the dreaded outlaw, Killer Pete, who has murdered the last four sheriffs. Meanwhile, on the stage bound for Headstone, Tex Miller, the new sheriff, is making small talk with fellow passenger and former seminary student Belinda "Bill" Pendergast when the stage is attacked by a band of Indians. Taking aim at the Indians, Bill shoots them off their horses and then calmly explains to the astonished Tex that her father always wanted a son and taught her to handle a gun. Back in town, Killer Pete and his gang strike again and rob the Crystal Palace saloon. After the outlaws abscond with the money, Judge Harmon hands saloon owner Jim Pendergast a letter from his recently deceased brother Joe, asking Jim to take care of Joe's progeny Bill. Jim insists that Bill be appointed as the new sheriff until the stage arrives and he discovers that Bill is a girl. Bill scandalizes the women of the town when she insists on living above the saloon with her uncle. Weeks later, Tex visits Bill and asks her to marry him. She sends him to her uncle to ask permission, and in Tex's absence, Killer Pete enters the saloon with guns blazing. Upset that the sound of gunfire has caused a pie baking in her oven to fall, Bill proceeds downstairs and throws the pie at the outlaw, but misses and hits Tex, who has come running into the saloon. Blinded by the pie, the sheriff is unable to pursue the bandits, who hijack a carriage that is tied up outside the saloon. Unknown to the outlaws, Judge Harmon and Hank, the deputy, are hiding in the back of the carriage. Later, Killer Pete visits his girl friend Lola, a dancer at the saloon. The outlaw then removes his disguise and becomes Tom Hannegan, a respected and wealthy rancher. Lola, who is jealous of Bill's presence in town, demands that Jim send his niece back East. When Jim broaches the topic with Bill, she insists on discussing the issue with Lola. After Bill informs Lola that she intends to remain in Headstone, Lola quits her job at the saloon, and Bill decides to take her place onstage. Embarrassed by his niece's unladylike performance, Jim orders her to return East immediately. Jim relents, however, when Tex asks for his niece's hand in marriage. Jim consents to the union and Tex rushes to tell Bill the good news, but is met by another pie in the face when Bill, unaware of Tex's presence, berates the pie for spoiling her engagement and then throws it. Soon after, Judge Harmon and Hank return from their buggy ride, having captured one of the bandits. On their way to the sheriff's office, they meet Hannegan and blurt out that they have captured bandit Dave Watson, who has revealed the location of the gang's hideout. That night, Hannegan, dressed as Killer Pete, shoots Dave and then tells Lola to contact Chief Big Thunder Cloud and arrange for his tribe to ambush the posse when they ride to the hideout. In the posse's absence, Hannegan and his gang plan to loot the town. After Tex and the others ride out of Headstone, Bill begins to pack her suitcase and goes to Lola's dressing room to retrieve her costume. When Bill's dog Waffles uncovers Hannegan's disguise there, Bill visits Lola and tricks her into revealing Hannegan's plans. The two women then begin to fight, and after Bill subdues Lola, she is greeted by the women of the town who have witnessed the fight and denounce her for being unfeminine. Bill changes their minds when she tells them of the planned robbery and ambush, and recruits Bertha, one of the wives, to warn the posse. When Hannegan and his gang stride confidently into the saloon, Bill and the women pelt them with pans and brooms. By the time the posse arrives, the women have captured the outlaws, and Bill, in her enthusiasm, flattens Tex with a frying pan.