City of Bad Men


1h 21m 1953

Film Details

Also Known As
Fight Town, Gunsmoke
Release Date
Sep 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 11 Sep 1953
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Vasquez Rocks, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,344ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

In March 1897, outlaw Brett Stanton leads his cohorts, including his brother Gar and Mexicans Mendoza and Pig, away from Mexico, where they have spent two fruitless years fighting "on the losing side." Although Gar wants to rob wealthy cattlemen in Texas, Brett insists on going to Carson City, Nevada, the Stantons' hometown, where he believes they can easily rob the town bank. Upon their arrival, however, they discover that the "sleeply little town" is now a bustling mecca due to the upcoming championship bout between boxers James J. Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons. While Gar is taunting Brett about the unforeseen complication, Sheriff Bill Gifford uneasily notes the return of the Stantons, who left town six years previously. Meanwhile, local promoter Jim London, who convinced the fighters to come to Carson City, talks with Corbett's manager, William Brady, who is nervous about the presence of so many gunslingers, including Johnny Ringo. Jim assures Brady that the outlaws want to see the fight like everyone else, but trouble soon erupts when Barney and Flint, members of rival gangs, have a shootout at Corbett's training camp. Barney escapes, but one of the deputies is forced to arrest Flint, despite the fact that it will antagonize his boss, Ringo. Brady is outraged when Gifford frees Flint, but Gifford explains that he is trying to avoid giving the outlaws any excuse to start trouble before the fight. Meanwhile, Brett travels to Jim's ranch, where his former sweetheart, Linda Culligan, who is now Jim's fiancée, is helping his sister, Cynthia Castle, with preparations for the fight. When Brett informs Linda that her brother, who left Carson City to accompany Brett on his travels, died in Mexico, she angrily lashes out at him, and also declares that whatever there was between them has died. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Fitzsimmons, who questions Jim's strategy of waiting until just before the fight to sell tickets. Jim promises Fitzsimmons that the delay will insure box-office receipts of at least $100,000, and Brett, who has overheard, begins plotting to steal the money. Upon his return to town, Brett learns that his old enemy, Bob Thrailkill, and his gang are in town, and when they challenge each other, Gifford takes them to the jail, where Ringo is waiting. Hoping to keep the killers in check, Gifford asks them to become his deputies for the next forty-eight hours, until after the fight. Although Ringo and Thrailkill laugh at the sheriff's offer, Brett sees the wisdom of accepting, and convinces the others that if they allow trouble to erupt, then the Eastern tourists, whom they hope to fleece at gambling, will leave town. Later that evening, Cynthia gives Brett a silver saddle, which he rejects along with her romantic advances. Angered, Cynthia gives the saddle to Gar, although Brett orders him to sell it so that they can buy tickets to the fight. Soon after, Barney and Flint are again engaged in a shootout, and when Thrailkill and Ringo refuse to interfere, Brett orders them at gunpoint to call their men off. Linda, who is watching, is as impressed by Brett's actions as Gifford is, and after the men lay down their weapons, Thrailkill and Ringo turn in their badges to Gifford, stating that he does not need them if he has Brett. The two bandits also threaten to come gunning for Brett after the fight. Brett then learns that Gar gambled away the money from the saddle, but is able to win enough for the tickets during a poker game. Torn by her lingering affection for Brett, Linda tells him that he should leave town before it is too late, and although Brett demurs, Gifford tells him the same thing. When Brett refuses, Gifford, who believes that the outlaw has reformed, offers him a job as a full-time deputy. Brett then tells Linda that he still loves her, but she sadly asserts that after waiting for him for six years, she has changed too much to go back to him. The next evening, a half hour before the fight begins, Brett's men take their places while waiting for the cashiers to finish selling tickets and take the money to a central kiosk. Linda approaches Brett and offers to run away with him if he will leave immediately and avoid his enemies, but Brett turns her down. After Linda leaves, however, Cynthia informs Brett that Linda broke off her engagement to Jim earlier that day. Stunned, Brett decides to leave and gives his badge to Gifford. Before Brett can exit the arena though, Gar pulls a gun on him and takes him to Ringo, to whom he revealed Brett's plan. The rest of Brett's men shrug their apologies to him, and Gar triumphantly leads his brother into the stadium, where he and Ringo watch the fight. When Gifford spots Brett sitting with Gar and Ringo, he assumes that the outlaw has betrayed him. As the money is gathered at the kiosk, one of the gang members knocks out a deputy and gives his badge to Ringo, who puts it on Brett so that he will can gain entry to the kiosk. Mendoza and Pig then create a distraction, although Gifford notices that Brett is again wearing a badge and realizes that Gar and Ringo are using him. The gang manages to steal the money, although all of the outlaws are killed in the ensuing gunfight, except Gar, Ringo and Thrailkill. Brett and Jim pursue the fleeing robbers, who reach Corbett's training camp, where Ringo shoots Gar. During a gun battle, Jim shoots Thrailkill, although he in turn is wounded by Ringo. Brett shoots Ringo, then is forced to kill Gar when his dying brother attempts to shoot him. Brett returns with Jim to town just as the fight is concluding, and as a doctor tends to Jim, Linda and Brett embrace.

Cast

Jeanne Crain

Linda Culligan

Dale Robertson

Brett Stanton

Richard Boone

Johnny Ringo

Lloyd Bridges

Gar Stanton

Carole Mathews

Cynthia Castle

Carl Betz

Deputy Phil Ryan

Whitfield Connor

Jim London

Hugh Sanders

Sheriff Bill Gifford

Rodolfo Acosta

Mendoza

Pascual García Peña

Pig

Harry Carter

Jack

Robert Adler

Barney

John Doucette

Cinch

Alan Dexter

Flint

Don Haggerty

Bob Thrailkill

Leo Gordon

Russell

Gil Perkins

Bob Fitzsimmons

John Day

James J. Corbett

James Best

Gig

Richard Cutting

Mr. Davis

Douglas Evans

William Brady

Kit Carson

Deputy

John Mckee

Deputy

Tom Mcdonough

Deputy Tex

Charles B. Smith

Henry

Harry Hines

Stewpot

Barbara Fuller

Mrs. Adler

Harry Brown

Cashier

Charles Tannen

Cashier

Harris Brown

Bank president

Jane Easton

Saloon singer

Anthony Jochim

Blister

Leo Curley

Harry Wade

George Melford

Old timer

Percy Helton

Old timer

George Selk

Old timer

Gordon Nelson

Doctor

Norman Bishop

Sparring partner

King Mojave

Barker

Ed Mundy

Gambler

Paul Gustine

Gambler

Pat Lane

Gambler

John Roche

Gambler

Harry Harvey Sr.

Waiter

Kay Garrett

Logan

Virginia Carroll

Wife

Fred Pace

Husband

Tristram Coffin

Easterner

Frank Ferguson

Easterner

King Donovan

Hotel clerk

Stephen Chase

Rancher

Perk Lazelle

Poker player

Jerry Sheldon

Poker player

I. Stanford Jolley

Gunslinger

Richard Reeves

Gunslinger

Freddie Vann

Referee

James Lennon

Fight announcer

Larry Blake

Spieler

Joe Gilbert

Dice table dealer

Earle Hodgins

Cooch dance barker

Ed Randolph

Chuck-a-luck dealer

Maude Prickett

Harry Seymour

Charles Cross

Sam Finn

Wally Walker

Cosmo Sardo

Steve Carruthers

Joe Ploski

Film Details

Also Known As
Fight Town, Gunsmoke
Release Date
Sep 1953
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 11 Sep 1953
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Vasquez Rocks, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,344ft (9 reels)

Quotes

OUr luck has got to change sometime.
- Russell
You're like a bunch of dumb cattle. You're stampeded at the sight of trouble, bawl at the first shift of wind. Our luck ain't going to change until you start acting like men.
- Brett Stanton

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Gunsmoke and Fight Town. After the opening credits, a written prologue reads: "In the tide of history there are always violent moments that spawn a new era. Such a moment began on the road to Carson City, Nevada, before the turn of the century." Although the main story of the film is fictional, heavyweight boxing champion James J. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett did fight challenger Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City on March 17, 1897. Fitzsimmons won the bout after fourteen rounds.
       A December 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item includes Earl Brown and Larry Mancine in the cast, but their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. A modern source includes Reed Howes in the cast. Although an October 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the picture would be shot on location at Carson City, it is unlikely that any location shooting was done there. According to studio publicity, the film's opening sequence was shot on location at Vasquez Rocks, CA. City of Bad Men was Leonard Goldstein's first production for Twentieth Century-Fox.