powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
On April 10 1865 at the Greenwood, Louisiana, train station, a battalion of Union soldiers are awaiting the arrival of the payroll train when news comes that the war has ended. Their jubilation is cut short, however, when a band of Confederate soldiers attack, steal their uniforms and then trick the payroll guards into turning the money over to them. Unaware that the Confederacy has disbanded, the rebels, led by Vance Reno, ride to deliver the money to Gen. Randall. Upon arriving at their destination, they discover that Gen. Lee has surrendered and so decide to split the cash among themselves. Vance and his brothers, Ray and Brett, then ride home to their family farm in Texas, where Vance plans to marry his sweetheart Cathy, while Mike Gavin and the others head their separate ways. Along the trail, Vance stops at a general store to buy a wedding suit and a gift for his bride. As they near the family farm, the brothers encounter their neighbor Jethro, who tells Vance that everyone thought he was killed in the war. At the farm, the brothers are greeted by their mother, Cathy and Clint, their youngest sibling. Vance is stunned to learn that Cathy, believing him dead, married Clint. Heartbroken, Vance tries to reassure a jealous Clint that he never loved Cathy. One week passes, and the brothers decide to bury the money in the barn. Cathy, who still loves Vance, pleads with him to forget the past and try to accept her marriage to his brother. That night, a sleepless Vance informs his mother that he is leaving for California, driven away by his love for Cathy. The next day at a picnic, Vance is about to tell Clint that he is leaving when Maj. Kincaid, Marshal Ed Galt and Siringo, a Pinkerton detective, arrive to question the brothers about the robbery. When Vance denies the charges, the marshal declares that they are under arrest, and that he is taking them to Tyler to stand trial. That night, Gavin and his rebel compatriots appear at the Reno farm and introduce themselves to Clint. Believing that his brothers have been framed, Clint joins Gavin and the others in an attempt to free them. On the train bound for Tyler, meanwhile, Siringo promises Vance that all charges will be dropped if he returns the money. When Siringo produces as evidence the twenty dollar bill that Vance paid the shopkeeper, Vance confides that he has only the brothers' share, and Siringo responds that all the money must be returned. Just then, Gavin and his cohorts board the train and free the brothers at gunpoint. Furious, the major gives orders to shoot them on sight, but Siringo and the marshal are convinced that the brothers were ignorant of the escape plan. When Vance relates Siringo's offer to Gavin and the others, they refuse to turn over their share of the money, prompting Vance to pull his gun and demand its return. After entrusting Clint with a message for Siringo, directing him to meet them at the mill the following afternoon, Vance rides back to the farm to retrieve the brothers' share. Discovering that the farm is being watched by soldiers, Vance asks Jethro to fetch the money, and Cathy finds him digging in the barn. When Jethro tells Cathy that Vance is hiding in his cabin, Cathy hurries to warn him that the major has ordered him shot on sight. As Cathy and Vance try to evade the soldiers, Clint meets with Siringo and then rejoins Gavin and the others. Upon learning that Cathy and Clint are married, Gavin vindictively incites Clint to violence by telling him that Cathy and Vance have run away together. Feeling betrayed, Clint rides after them, followed by his brothers and Gavin and his gang. Vance, meanwhile, hides Cathy in a cave and then rides to the mill to consummate his deal with Siringo. Suddenly remembering their old boyhood hiding place, Ray and Brett head for the cave and find Cathy there. When Cathy hears that Clint believes that she has betrayed him, she insists that Ray and Brett take her to him. Crazed with jealousy, Clint refuses to believe her explanation and throws her to the ground. After Brett sends Cathy home, Gavin convinces Clint that she is riding to meet Vance and the two ride to the cave, seeking revenge. Ray and Brett warn Vance, who gives Ray's money to Siringo and instructs him to return with reinforcements. Brett and Vance then proceed to the cave, where Vance tries to reason with Clint. Goaded by Gavin, Clint levels his gun at Vance and shoots him. As Gavin and the others pounce on Vance's prone body, Clint, feeling remorse, charges at them, firing his gun. Just as Siringo and his men arrive, Gavin guns down Clint. With his final breath, Clint begs Vance's forgiveness and then dies in Cathy's arms. Later, at her son's gravesite, Martha weeps, and is comforted by Cathy, Vance, Ray and Brett.