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Outlaw Country

Outlaw Country(1949)

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U.S. Marshal Lash La Rue and his deputy, Fuzzy Q. Jones, are on their way to meet Marshal Clark at the ghost town of Fort River when they are pursued by a posse of lawmen. Upon reaching the ghost town, Lash is greeted by Clark, his deputy, Cal Saunders, and SeƱor Cordova, who are working together to apprehend a band of counterfeiters operating just across the border in an adobe village called Robbers' Roost. Clark explains that the counterfeiters, led by Jim McCord, have kidnapped an engraver named Frank Evans and his daughter Jane and are holding them prisoner in the village. When Clark shows Lash a wanted poster for Frontier Phantom, McCord's bodyguard, Lash suddenly comprehends why he has been summoned and why the posse was chasing him, as Frontier is Lash's identical twin brother. Robbers' Roost is on private land, and consequently, Clark asks Lash and Fuzzy to infiltrate the hideout as private citizens. After Fuzzy and Lash leave for Robbers' Roost, McCord informs Frontier that he has heard that a marshal is in the vicinity and dispatches him to guard a wagon transporting a cache of counterfeit bills. Evans, meanwhile, has escaped with Jane and has arranged for the wagon driver Jeff Thomas to meet them and convey them through the narrow pass that connects the village to the U.S. side of the border. Spotting the wagon, Frontier and his men give chase and shoot the driver. Alerted by the sound of gunfire, Lash and Fuzzy stop the runaway wagon and conceal it in the woods, thus sidetracking Frontier. After displaying his marshal's badge, Lash instructs Evans and Jane to follow the trail on foot while he and Fuzzy decoy Frontier and his thugs. After two of his henchman are apprehended by Lash, Frontier disappears and Lash tells Fuzzy to wait by the wagon while he takes Evans and Jane to safety. Soon after Lash leaves, Frontier appears and takes Fuzzy hostage. After leading the Evanses to an old deserted cabin, Lash returns to the wagon and finds a note from Frontier, notifying him that Fuzzy is being held prisoner at Robbers' Roost. Hurrying back to the cabin, Lash finds Frontier waiting for him and tries to convince him to go straight. When Frontier refuses to surrender, the brothers fight. Lash knocks Frontier unconscious, dons his clothes and decides to masquerade as his brother. Back at Robbers' Roost, Lash protects Fuzzy from the gang and later informs him that he is posing as his outlaw brother. McCord, his suspicions aroused because Frontier is no longer smoking his ever present cigar, directs Buck and Turk, two of his henchmen, to trail him. At the cabin, meanwhile, Jane, who harbors faith in Frontier's innate goodness, tries to convince him to help his brother. While riding along the trail, Lash, meanwhile, notices his escorts and shoots Buck. Soon after, Fuzzy, who has escaped, joins Lash. Witnessing their meeting, Turk rides back to Robbers' Roost to warn McCord. Sensing impending danger, Lash sends Fuzzy to Fall Mountain to signal Clark for reinforcements. After Lash leaves for Robbers' Roost, Frontier stops Fuzzy, who warns him of his brother's peril, sending Frontier back to Robbers' Roost to fight at his brother's side. When Lash arrives in the village, McCord tells Turk to take him prisoner. A gunshot then rings out and Frontier, stationed on a rooftop, orders McCord to drop his weapon. In the ensuing gunfight, Lash barricades himself in a shack while Frontier holds off the outlaws from his rooftop perch. When Deputy Saunders, who is secretly in league with the counterfeiters, enters the room and pulls a gun, Lash whips the weapon from his hand. Temporarily blinded by a gunshot, Frontier falls from the roof, while Lash runs out of ammunition. In the nick of time, Fuzzy arrives with the marshal and his posse and captures the gang. McCord escapes, but Lash subdues him with several well-aimed blows from his whip. The marshal then thanks Evans for his help in marking the counterfeit bills, and when Evans praises Frontier for aiding in his and Jane's escape, the marshal promises to plead for leniency on the outlaw's behalf.