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Thunder Town

Thunder Town(1946)

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Jim Brandon returns to his home town after he is paroled from prison. Except for his friends, Utah McGirk and Betty Morgan, no one in town believes Jim's claims that he was framed for a bank robbery. Soon after Jim arrives, Dunc Rankin, whose older brother Bill is Betty's guardian, warns him to keep away from her. Later, Sheriff Matt Warner, who recommended Jim's parole, explains that although he is not convinced that Jim is innocent, he does have his doubts as Jim's partner, Donovan, recently killed himself. After Jim promises to prove his and his partner's innocence, Dunc meets with some friends who are determined to prevent Jim from exposing the real bank robbers. Unknown to Jim, the Rankins and Chuck Wilson, the owner of the saloon, want to take over his ranch. Bill is also trying to force Betty to marry Dunc, in order to gain control over her ranch, which adjoins Jim's. Later, Utah tells Jim that he has taken a job as a cook for the Rankins in order to pay the taxes on Jim's ranch. Utah, who is convinced that Donovan did not kill himself, shows Jim the gun he was supposed to have used to commit suicide. Jim informs Utah that it is now possible to identify which gun fired a particular bullet, and later, asks the sheriff for the bullet taken from Donovan's body. He then asks a gunsmith to compare them, and although the gunsmith does not have the newest technology, he reveals that the bullet came from a different caliber gun than Donovan's. When Jim returns from the gunsmith's, he and Utah ride to the Rankin ranch to visit Betty. On the way, they meet the Rankins, and a fight breaks out. Jim is knocked unconscious, and he and Utah are locked inside the bunkhouse at the Rankin ranch. When Betty refuses to marry Dunc, Bill threatens to kill Jim unless she agrees to the wedding. Betty then promises to go along with their plans if they let Jim go free. Jim is released, but as he is riding away, he realizes Rankin has set a trap for him. Jim avoids Rankin's ambush and returns to the Rankin ranch for Utah, who helps him to stop Betty's wedding to Dunc. After Jim reveals what he has learned to Matt, they search the assembled men for a gun of the same caliber as the one that killed Donovan. Then Utah discovers Wilson with the stolen money, and banker Henry Carson is revealed to be the ringleader of the gang. Now that Jim's name is cleared, there are no further obstacles to his marriage to Betty, who has never doubted his innocence.