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Panhandle

Panhandle(1948)

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In a Mexican border town, former outlaw John Sands has become a respected storekeeper. One day, a customer, Jean "Dusty" Stewart, tells him that her father is one of several people who were recently murdered in the Texas town of Sentinel. She also mentions that the town's outspoken newspaper owner, Billy Sands, was killed, unaware that Billy was John's brother. En route to Sentinel, John stops to buy a fresh horse and is spotted by a sheriff who knows him from his outlaw days. The sheriff tries to arrest him, but John shoots him in the hand. As he approaches Sentinel, John is attacked by three gunmen working for Matt Garson, owner of the Last Frontier Saloon, who is planning to become boss of the entire Texas panhandle. John outrides them, then in Sentinel, checks into the Blue Belle Hotel, where he meets June O'Carroll, Garson's secretary. John is soon approached by three of Sentinel's leading citizens, who want to hire him to clean up the town and drive Garson from the area, and John promises to think it over. After an encounter with Garson's hired gun, Floyd Schofield, John walks June back to her home, provoking Garson's jealousy. The next day, John rides out to the Stewart ranch and reveals to Dusty that he is Billy's brother. She tells John that she and Billy were to be married and shows him his grave. Later, John is shot at by Schofield but when John confronts Schofield about it at the saloon, Garson supplies him with an alibi, provoking John to brawl with Jack, another Garson henchman. After John escorts June to Sunday mass, Garson tells him to leave town. June then tells Garson she wants nothing more to do with him and quits. When Schofield challenges John to a shootout in front of the saloon, John kills him and two others. John then has a final showdown with Garson, who he has determined was responsible for Billy's death, and with June's help, kills him. Later, John promises to return to June after he clears himself with the law.