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Wild Bill Hickok Rides

Wild Bill Hickok Rides(1942)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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After the 1871 Chicago fire, gambler Belle Andrews agrees to join crooked promoter Harry Farrel and move to Powder River, Wyoming, to set up a new business. Farrel plans to take advantage of a new law to oust ranchers from their land and use the stolen land to raise cattle, which he will then sell to the Chicago stockyards. When the train on which they travel is held up by outlaws, the travelers are rescued by another passenger, gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok, who is traveling to Powder River to visit Ned Nolan, owner of the largest ranch in the area, and his adopted daughter Janey. When they arrive in Powder River, Farrel asks Belle to use her charm to distract Hickok while he and his men take over the ranches. Because Nolan owns the water rights for the entire valley, Farrel offers to pay off his mortgage in exchange for the ranch, but Nolan refuses to sell for any price. Farrel then frames Nolan for a murder. When Hickok tries to break him out of jail, Nolan stops him, convinced that the jury will acquit him. Hickok then goes in search of the only witness who can prove Nolan's innocence. While he is gone, Nolan is found guilty and is lynched by a mob incited by Farrel's men. When he returns to town, Hickok goes after the men responsible for Nolan's death and is wounded in the ensuing gunfight. Farrel tries to finish Hickok off, but is prevented from killing him by Belle, who has fallen in love with the gunfighter. Later, the honest people in town decide to ask Hickok to clean up Powder Valley and as his first act, Hickok organizes the homesteaders. Because the other ranch land in the valley is useless without the water on the Nolan ranch, Hickok advises the homesteaders to pool their cattle at the ranch, where the animals will be sold to pay off the mortgage. When Farrel realizes what Hickok is planning, he and his men decide to blow up the local dam and flood the valley, thereby killing all the cattle. Belle warns Hickok, who orders the homesteaders to drive the cattle to higher ground and then rides to the dam to stop Farrel. Farrel sets off the explosives before Hickok can stop him, but during the ensuing shootout, Hickok kills Farrel. Thanks to Belle's warning, most of the cattle are saved. At Belle's suggestion, Janey is sent to school in Chicago, while Belle remains behind with Hickok.