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Gunmen of Abilene

Gunmen of Abilene(1950)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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After shooting a prospector named Sam and stealing his pouch, outlaw Brink Fallon delivers the pouch to Blue Valley general store owner Henry Turner. Turner, who had hired Brink to murder Sam, identifies the pouch's contents as gold, then reveals that Sam had recently discovered a large, untapped vein of gold in a nearby abandoned mine. As Turner is aware that the mine runs the length of Blue Valley and therefore cannot be claimed by him, he declares that Brink and his men must run the citizenry out of the area so that they can mine the gold for themselves. After Brink's gang wrecks havoc on the town, the townspeople complain about the job that elderly Sheriff Nugget Clark is doing and demand that another lawman be hired. The respected Dr. Johnson offers to take their request to Abilene that afternoon, and on the stagecoach back to Blue Valley, he informs widower Bill Harper, who is taking his young son Dickie to live with Dickie's aunt, that a deputy marshal is on his way. At that moment, the stage is attacked by Brink's men and Bill is fatally wounded. The ambush is stopped by Allan "Rocky" Lane, who escorts the passengers back to Blue Valley, then identifies himself to Dr. Johnson and Mary Clark, Nugget's niece and Dickie's aunt, as the deputy marshal. Out of respect for the veteran Nugget, however, Rocky hands his badge and papers to Dr. Johnson and asks that his identity be kept a secret. Rocky instead becomes Nugget's deputy and tactfully suggests that they should investigate freight wagon shipments, some of which inexplicably have not been attacked. On the road outside town, Nugget questions freight driver Jake about his shipment, while Rocky steals a sample of Jake's powdery cargo. Later, Rocky asks Dr. Johnson to identify the sample, and after the physician asks Turner for an analyzing chemical and speculates that the powder is an explosive, Turner orders Brink to kill Dr. Johnson. Although Brink and his cohort, Todd, shoot and kill the doctor, Rocky hears the shot and chases after them. Rocky captures Todd and jails him, but when Todd refuses to talk, Rocky suggests to Nugget that they allow Todd to escape so that they can follow him to his gang. As Todd is riding out of town, however, both Dr. Johnson's son Tim and Turner spot him. Turner speculates to the revenge-hungry Tim that Todd may be headed for the mine fields, and unaware that Rocky and Nugget are tailing Todd, Tim races to the fields. There, Tim shoots Todd, but the wounded outlaw manages to lose Rocky and Nugget. Later, Turner decides to have Brink, who found Rocky's badge and papers at Dr. Johnson's, impersonate a marshal so that he can "take care of" Rocky. As soon as Tim and the other townspeople accept Brink as their new lawman, Brink accuses Rocky of killing Dr. Johnson and tries to arrest him. Rocky escapes, however, then sneaks back to town and convinces the despondent Nugget that the town truly needs him. After Mary persuades Tim that Rocky is the real marshal, Nugget recalls that he had earlier seen Brink with Turner. Subsequently, Tim informs Turner that he spotted Brink riding toward the mine fields and is going to follow him in order to catch Rocky. As hoped, Turner tails Tim, who is, in turn, shadowed by Rocky. Rocky follows Turner into the mine and takes him and Brink's gang by surprise. Brink then takes Rocky by surprise, and while being held prisoner, Rocky overhears Turner's plans to have Brink evacuate the townspeople from Blue Valley and dynamite them at Rainbow Ridge. With help from Nugget, Rocky escapes, and at Rainbow Ridge, they catch up to the townspeople. Turner, Brink and his gang toss sticks of dynamite at the fleeing wagons, then attack the townspeople directly. After Rocky, Tim and Nugget subdue Brink and his men, Turner falls off a cliff while trying to kill Rocky. Later, a grateful Nugget, who still does not know Rocky's identity, invites him to share in the town's newfound wealth, but Rocky politely declines and rides away.