The Black Hills Express
Cast & Crew
Don "red" Barry
During the 1870s, the Black Hills division of Wells Fargo, managed by Raymond Harper, suffers heavy losses due to numerous robberies. Outlaw Lon Walker is blamed for the robberies, but he returns to Black Hills, his hometown, to tell his childhood friend, deputy Deadeye, that he is innocent. Believing that one man could not be responsible for so many crimes, Harper decides to hire Lon to drive off the real culprits. Harper then badgers Mayor Jason Phelps and Marshal Harvey Dorman into agreeing with his plan, and persuades Dorman to offer immunity to Lon for thirty days. Dorman and Phelps are angered by Harper's scheme, for they are the secret leaders of the gang, which is overseen by their henchman, Vic Fowler. They plan to drive Harper into bankruptcy, then purchase the division with Wells Fargo's own money. Lon initially refuses the job, but changes his mind after he and Deadeye come across pretty Gale Southern, whose father has just been killed during a stage holdup. They take the shaken woman to Harper's office, where she explains that she and her father had come West to buy a ranch. Harper vows to ensure her safety, and Lon accepts his job offer. Phelps, who is also the town banker, advises Harper to sell out, but Harper's faith in Lon is substantiated when the next stage reaches its destination safely. As time passes, Lon thwarts more attempted robberies, during which he kills some of Fowler's men. Although Gale, who now works for Dorman at the bank, is appalled by Lon's methods, Harper insists that it is the only way to get rid of the gang that murdered her father. Dorman and Phelps then escalate their campaign by ordering Fowler to kill the drivers, rather than try to rob the stages. After five drivers have been shot, the remaining drivers quit, and Harper fears that he has been beaten, especially when Dorman points out that Lon's immunity will run out in twenty-four hours. With Gale's help, Lon investigates the bank's deposit records and discovers that a Mr. "Namrod," which is Dorman spelled backward, has deposited large sums of money directly after the heists. Lon then devises a scheme whereby he places an identification tag inside a gold bar, which is to be included in a shipment that he will drive himself. Pretending to be drunk, Deadeye tells Fowler about the "secret" shipment, and Lon allows the gang to steal the gold. Lon and Deadeye, along with the sheriff's posse, then follow the gang to the hideout, where they catch Phelps and Dorman with the tagged gold bar. Soon after, Lon bids Gale farewell as she leaves for the East to settle her father's estate, but she promises to return to him and buy a ranch.
Don "red" Barry
The working title of this film was The Fargo Express. Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart includes Jack Ingram in the cast, his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Marshall Reed, Curley Dresden, Frank Ellis, Carl Sepulveda and Ray Jones.